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Potsdam: The End of World War II and the Remaking of Europe

Potsdam The End of World War II and the Remaking of Europe After Germany s defeat in World War II Europe lay in tatters Millions of refugees were dispersed across the continent Food and fuel were scarce Britain was bankrupt while Germany had been reduced to

  • Title: Potsdam: The End of World War II and the Remaking of Europe
  • Author: Michael S. Neiberg
  • ISBN: 9780465075256
  • Page: 186
  • Format: Hardcover
  • After Germany s defeat in World War II, Europe lay in tatters Millions of refugees were dispersed across the continent Food and fuel were scarce Britain was bankrupt, while Germany had been reduced to rubble In July of 1945, Harry Truman, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin gathered in a quiet suburb of Berlin to negotiate a lasting peace a peace that would finally pAfter Germany s defeat in World War II, Europe lay in tatters Millions of refugees were dispersed across the continent Food and fuel were scarce Britain was bankrupt, while Germany had been reduced to rubble In July of 1945, Harry Truman, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin gathered in a quiet suburb of Berlin to negotiate a lasting peace a peace that would finally put an end to the conflagration that had started in 1914, a peace under which Europe could be rebuilt The award winning historian Michael Neiberg brings the turbulent Potsdam conference to life, vividly capturing the delegates personalities Truman, trying to escape from the shadow of Franklin Roosevelt, who had died only months before Churchill, bombastic and seemingly out of touch Stalin, cunning and meticulous For the first week, negotiations progressed relatively smoothly But when the delegates took a recess for the British elections, Churchill was replacedboth as prime minster and as Britain s representative at the conferencein an unforeseen upset by Clement Attlee, a man Churchill disparagingly described as a sheep in sheep s clothing When the conference reconvened, the power dynamic had shifted dramatically, and the delegates struggled to find a new balance Stalin took advantage of his strong position to demand control of Eastern Europe as recompense for the suffering experienced by the Soviet people and armies The final resolutions of the Potsdam Conference, notably the division of Germany and the Soviet annexation of Poland, reflected the uneasy geopolitical equilibrium between East and West that would come to dominate the twentieth century As Neiberg expertly shows, the delegates arrived at Potsdam determined to learn from the mistakes their predecessors made in the Treaty of Versailles But, riven by tensions and dramatic debates over how to end the most recent war, they only dimly understood that their discussions of peace were giving birth to a new global conflict.

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      Published :2019-02-10T04:47:45+00:00

    1 thought on “Potsdam: The End of World War II and the Remaking of Europe

    1. Neiberg's book on the Potsdam Conference not only describes the decisions that were made at this meeting after the war in Europe had ended, but also goes into detail about the mindset that each of the Big Three delegates had coming into the conference. Truman, Stalin, Churchill and Atlee had all experienced WWI and none wanted to repeat the mistakes of the Versailles Treaty of 1919. Neiberg frames the conference as an end to the 1914 thru 1945 time period rather than as an end to WWII in Europe. [...]

    2. An excellent read. I wish more history books were written this well. What I especially noted was the lack of criticism based on future events. By relying on diaries and memo's, and other paperwork from the time, we get a picture of what the leaders were trying to avoid, such as another repeat of the disastrous Versailles treaty. And that they still saw the USSR as an ally, not as the cold war adversary it would/was/had already become. If you are at all interested in WW@, I would say that this is [...]

    3. Must be me: I'm not captured. Seems to be going over old ground for anyone who has read Bloodlands. And although a clear writer, he's hardly thrilling.Ok, second half was better. The key point is that Potsdam now is viewed only retrospectively. In 1945, most participants thought the conference a success--primarily because it avoided the mistakes of Versailles."[T]he fundamental importance of the Potsdam Conference [was] it did solve the central problems of the 1914-1945 period as the leaders of [...]

    4. Neiberg argues that the Big 3 didn't see Potsdam as the start of the Cold War (or even as a last chance to avoid one), but rather as an opportunity to solve the European problems that had led to two devastating wars. Thus, their decisions were guided more by a sense of history than foreshadowings of the future. This is a highly readable book, with plenty of explanatory material for those not already familiar with the conference and its participants. Definitely worth reading!

    5. 3 1/2 *The author admits at the beginning that no new research is presented in this book; that did not leave me hopeful.There were a few instances of repetition of sentences and thoughts. I didn't care for the back-and-forth comparison between 1919 and 1945. I was also disappointed that there were only two sentences mentioning Truman's trade away of Indochina. Eisenhower, before the conference, told Truman that the Allies did not need Soviet assistance to take Japan. A blockade and bombing would [...]

    6. Much has been written about the Treaty of Versailles ending the First World War, and how its harsh conditions impacted Germany and ultimately led up to the beginning of the Second World War. Fewer books appear to discuss the equally important meetings held in Potsdam which led to allied agreements at the end of WW II. The important Potsdam Conference brought American, British, and Russian leaders together to discuss the end of hostilities as the European Theater of WW II concluded. In “Potsdam [...]

    7. There are innumerable excellent books written on the battles, politics, and experiences of World War 2. However, far less attention is paid to the efforts of putting the shattered pieces of Europe together after the fighting was done. When the decisions made during the Potsdam summit are revisited, we tend to look at it as the lead in into the forthcoming Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. However, Michael Neiberg adjusts the prism so we can understand the decision making a [...]

    8. This book describes the issues and politics involved in the meeting of the Big Three at Potsdam in July and August ,1945. The war had been won in Europe but not the Pacific. The author begins by talking about each of the the three leaders and their aims now that the war had ended. Truman had just replaced Roosevelt, who died in April, and knew little of the objectives that had formed our diplomatic strategy. Churchill was voted out of office during the meeting and replaced by Clement Atlee. This [...]

    9. My interest in reading this book was sparked after I played Mark Herman's GMT game "Churchill". There aren't a whole lot of books covering the negotiations between the Big 3 during during and after World War 2. Neiberg's book is concise and sheds light on an important, but somewhat overlooked, part of 20th Century history. The book is particularly interesting in terms of providing a context for the cold war and in providing some explanation for why the world is the way it is today. But more than [...]

    10. Roosevelt was a jerk toward Truman, leaving him completely out of the loop; Churchill was losing it; Stalin was, wellStalin. How the Allies ever hammered out a decent path toward getting Europe back on its feet is a wonder, and a hopeful reminder that sometimes it's not about who sits at the top.The already-dry narrative repeats some themes: 'don't repeat Versailles'; 'Postdam is beautiful'; 'Russia got hammered'. But Neiberg also provides some savage background on Russian retribution after the [...]

    11. Potsdam was an interesting book. I finished it not really understanding all that happened at the conference but was well informed of the destruction of Germany in painstaking detail and the descriptions of the conference venue and housing for the attendees.

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