Berlin Declaration (1945)
By the Berlin Declaration of June 5, 1945, (officially the "Declaration regarding the defeat of Germany and the assumption of supreme authority with respect to Germany by the Governments of the United States of America, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom and the Provisional Government of the French Republic"), the Allies of World War II assumed "supreme authority" over the territory of the German Reich and basic administrative issues were addressed:
The Governments of the United States of America, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United Kingdom, and the Provisional Government of the French Republic, hereby assume supreme authority with respect to Germany, including all the powers possessed by the German Government, the High Command and any state, municipal, or local government or authority. The assumption, for the purposes stated above, of the said authority and powers does not effect the annexation of Germany.
The declaration confirmed the continued existence of the German Reich as a whole, which would include its eastern territories as of 31 December 1937, and the division of Allied-occupied Germany into four occupation zones according to the Yalta Conference.
The declaration was signed by the Allied commanders-in-chief:
- Georgy Zhukov for the Soviet Union
- Dwight D. Eisenhower for the United States
- Bernard Montgomery for the United Kingdom
- Jean de Lattre de Tassigny for France.
By the end of June, the Western Allies vacated the German eastern territories, which were incorporated into the Soviet occupation zone. Subsequently, the Potsdam Agreement of 2 August 1945 set the boundary between Poland and Germany at the Oder-Neisse line, and these territories came under Polish and Soviet (Kaliningrad Oblast) administrations, pending the final apportionment of territories in a future Final German Peace Treaty (Note: that future treaty fell victim to the Cold War, and had to wait for 45 years, until September, 1990. No one in the summer of 1945 expected more than one or two years before the Final German Peace Treaty.)
An Allied Control Council was established on 30 August 1945 to execute the governmental power in Allied-occupied Germany, which now did not include the German eastern territories.
A monument has been erected at the site in the Wendenschloss district of Berlin-Köpenick on Niebergall Street which reads in German:
- "On 5 June 1945 in the former headquarters of Marshal G. K. Zhukov here, the representatives of the high commands of the Anti-Hitler Coalition signed the Declaration of the defeat of Fascist Germany and the assumption of governmental authority through the four allied states."
- Legal status of Germany - Legal status of the German Reich after 1945
- Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany
- http://avalon.law.yale.edu/wwii/ger01.asp - Full text of the Berlin Declaration