The Yalta Conference
YaltaAgainst the backdrop of steadily advancing Allied forces on all fronts, Roosevelt traveled to Yalta in the Crimea of the Soviet Union for the second summit with Stalin and Churchill. On the agenda was structuring the post-war world. There have been numerous conflicting reports on Roosevelt's effectiveness during the conference. Much of the blame for the ultimate failure of many of the agreements there was centered on his performance. What is certain is that he was easily fatigued and was clearly in failing health. Major, important agreements were reached, including the terms for the Soviet entry into the war with Japan, and the division of post-war Germany. Stalin gave assurances as to the ability of the nations of Eastern Europe to determine their own destiny, pledges that the Soviets later never kept. In addition, the basic structure of the United Nations was settled at Yalta.
President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, and Marshall Stalin, met at Yalta in the Southern Soviet Union. The meeting was a continuation of the earlier dialogue between Churchill and Stalin. In that meeting, Churchill and Stalin had discussed spheres of influence in post-war Europe, and Churchill was reported to have written down a list of countries in which he recorded both nations and percentages. Accordingly, he wrote down; Romania-90%, Soviets-10%, Allied Yugoslavia-50% Allies-50%.
The meeting began on February 2nd. The first order of business was a discussion of at what point the Soviets would enter the war against the Japanese. The Soviets agreed to enter the war within three months of the end of the war with Germany. The Soviets' political demands included the transfer of the Kurile Islands to the Soviets, recognition of the Soviet sovereignty over Outer Mongolia, and other concessions. Finally, the United States and the Soviet Union agreed to a four-power trusteeship over Korea.
At the conference, Roosevelt agreed that the new borders of Poland would be the Curzon line (the boundary which had existed at the end of World War I before the Russo- Polish war). In return, the Poles would receive land from Germany, thus moving the border for Poland Westward.
One of the most significant issues discussed was the ruler of Poland. It was agreed that the Soviet puppet-regime (called the "Lublin Poles") would initially rule. This agreement called for free and democratic elections in Poland.
The three parties agreed to four- party control of Germany.
The major disagreement over the operations of the United Nations was resolved, with the Soviets agreeing to the American proposal regarding the use of the veto in the Security council. The Soviets requested that two of their republics receive separate representation in the U. N. The USA and the United Kingdom agreed.
The Yalta Conference, to this day, is seen by many as an incident of appeasing the Soviets. Others perceive the conference as a reflection of the power of Soviet troops advancing on Germany at the time.