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Report of the Yalta (Crimea) Conference (February 4-11, 1945)

When Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill met in Crimea for the Yalta Conference in early February 1945, it was clear that Germany’s defeat was imminent. The conference reaffirmed the plan to divide Germany into three occupation zones, but the option of adding France as a fourth victorious power was left open. In addition, a package of measures to “destroy German militarism and Nazism” was agreed upon: it included the dissolution the Wehrmacht and its high command, the dismantling of the German armaments industry (or the introduction of Allied control over it), trials for war criminals, and reparations, as well as the dissolution of the NSDAP and the eradication of Nazi elements in both state and society. It was also agreed that a reparations committee would be established to determine Germany’s future payments.

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The following statement is made by the Prime Minister of Great Britain, the President of the United States of America, and the Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, on the results of the Crimea Conference:

I. The Defeat of Germany

We have considered and determined the military plans of the three Allied Powers for the final defeat of the common enemy. The military staffs of the three allied nations have met in daily meetings throughout the Conference. These meetings have been most satisfactory from every point of view and have resulted in closer co-ordination of the military effort of the three Allies than ever before. The fullest information has been interchanged. The timing, scope and co-ordination of new and even more powerful blows to be launched by our armies and air forces into the heart of Germany from East, West, North and South have been fully agreed and planned in detail.

Our combined military plans will be made known only as we execute them, but we believe that the very close working partnership among the three staffs attained at this Conference will result in shortening the war. Meetings of the three staffs will be continued in the future whenever the need arises.

Nazi Germany is doomed. The German people will only make the cost of their defeat heavier to themselves by attempting to continue a hopeless resistance.

II. The Occupation and Control of Germany

We have agreed on common policies and plans for enforcing the unconditional surrender terms which we shall impose together on Nazi Germany after German armed resistance has been finally crushed. These terms will not be made known until the final defeat of Germany has been accomplished.

Under the agreed plan, the forces of the Three Powers will each occupy a separate zone of Germany. Coordinated administration and control has been provided for under the plan through a central Control Commission consisting of the Supreme Commanders of the Three Powers with headquarters in Berlin.

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