This colorful and attractive map depicts Germany and Central Europe in the immediate wake of World War II. The Allied Powers (United States of America, France, United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union) met at the Potsdam Conference, held at the Cecilienhof Castle near Berlin, from July 17 to August 2, 1945.
During the conference, the Allies agreed to partition Germany. As shown on the map, large portions of East Prussia were given to Poland and the Soviet Union (the Konigsburg, or 'Kaliningrad Enclave'). What remained of Germany was then divided into military sectors of influence, each under a different Allied Power. East Germany was placed under Soviet influence, while most of northern Germany was placed under British auspices. The lands bordering France were placed under her control, while the Americans assumed responsibility for Bavaria, Hessen and part of Wurttemburg. Berlin, located deep within East Germany, was then itself divided into sectors of control, with the Soviets overseeing East Berlin, while West Berlin was shared by the other Allied Powers. Each zone is identified on the map with the flag of the appropriate Allied Power.
The Potsdam Conference envisaged that free and fair elections would occur throughout a united Germany. However, the Soviets assumed dictatorial control over East Germany, and it separated to form its own Communist state. The rest of the nation came to form West Germany, a democracy with very limited intervention from the Allied Powers.
The military zones of control were abolished in 1990 following German Reunification.