The World War II Multimedia Database

For the 72 Million

The Post War World

The end of the Second World War seemed like a new era of peace between the victors. The Soviets and the Western Allies had promoted the concept of an antifascist brotherhood during the war, and photos were taken all over the world of the Allies embracing and celebrating their victory.

Before the war ended, the three major Allied nations began to discuss the postwar world in a series of conferences with the three leaders. Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin met at Yalta in March 1945 and Truman, Atlee and Stalin met in Potsdam in July 1945. Roosevelt had first used the term “United Nations” when twenty-six Nations signed the Declaration of the United Nations on January 1, 1942. From April to October 1945, fifty-one nations met in San Francisco and created the United Nations. The Headquarters were set up in New York after the Charter was ratified by a majority of the member nations. The major Allies (China, the Soviet Union, France, Great Britain, and the United States) held seats on the Security Council, each country held veto power over any decision the United Nations made.

The reality was that huge cracks were appearing in the Allied unity. With no more enemies to fight, the suspicions held at bay until victory was obvious became public and bitter. Churchill later wrote that he already suspected the Soviets were replacing the Axis as the aggressors before the European war ended.

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