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Potsdam Conference - July 17 to August 2, 1945

Following the Surrender of Germany and with the Allies progressing towards the Japanese homeland, the leaders of the United States, United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union met in Potsdam, Germany, to discuss the reconstruction of Germany, the division of European land, and the fate of Japan.   In attendance were President Harry S. Truman, British Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill (later by British Prime Minister Clement Atlee), and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.  Since the Soviet Union was not at war with Japan at that time, Stalin did not sign the Postdam Declaration, which threatened Japan with "prompt and utter destruction" if it did not declare immediate surrender.   China signed the declaration with the United States and United Kingdom.  Japan accepted the declaration after the use of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Following the war's end, the three leaders never met in person again to discuss reconstruction of the former Axis countries. 

Image:  USA C-1860:  Potsdam Conference, July-August 1945.  Left to right British Prime Minister Clement Atlee, U.S. President Harry S. Truman, and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.