Decisions made at Yalta and Potsdam
At Yalta, the leaders of the U.S., Britain, and the Soviet Union agreed to divide Germany into zones of occupation controlled by the Allied military forces. Germany would also have to pay the Soviet Union to compensate for its loss of life and property. Here, Stalin agreed to join the war against Japan. He also promised that Eastern Europeans would have free elections. However, Stalin showed great reluctance to allow free elections in Eastern European nations. To Roosevelt’s successor, Truman, this was a clear violation of those countries’ rights. Truman, Stalin, and Churchill met at Potsdam, Germany. Truman pressed Stalin to permit free elections in Eastern Europe. The Soviet leader refused. In a speech in early 1946, Stalin declared that communism and capitalism could not exist in the same world.