Today in AFJ History

August 2, 2013  

1945: ‘A hard subsistence peace’ for Germany

From the archives: August 4, 1945

Service News and Gossip

The Potsdam conference decided, as its communique discloses, that Germany is to have a hard subsistence peace. The Reich will be reduced in size and will be crowded with hundreds of thousands of Germans returned from Czechoslovakia, Hungary and other regions.

The communique — thousands of words long and for once giving real information — reveals much of what was decided during the more than two weeks the Big Three were in conference.

There will be separate treaties of peace concluded with the several enemy countries but they will be submitted for appraisal to the United Nations so that in sum the arrangement means that there is to be an overall peace. It is to be one on the model of the United Nations. All this is to the good. It is what Washington wanted.

It was as successful a conference as could be expected. In sum it provided a working arrangement which will postpone difficulties between Russia and the western powers and tend to prevent them from taking an acute form; however, the extent of the accomplishments can be determined only by future developments. Russia has gained much out of the conference but she has made one concession that can be of great good, if expectations are realized. In granting freedom for the Allied press to go into Poland to report conditions and events before, during and after the promised “free and unfettered” elections and in agreeing to access to Romania and Bulgaria, the Soviet Union has promised to raise the blinds in eastern Europe and the Balkans.