Territorial changes of Poland immediately after World War II

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Poland's old and new borders, 1945

The territorial changes of Poland after World War II were very extensive. In 1945, following the Second World War, Poland's borders were redrawn following the decisions made at the Potsdam Conference of 1945 at the insistence of the Soviet Union. The eastern Polish territories, which the Soviet Union had occupied in 1939 (excluding the Białystok region) were permanently annexed, and most of their Polish inhabitants expelled. Today, these territories are part of Belarus, Ukraine, and Lithuania.

In turn, Poland received the Free City of Danzig and former German territory east of the Oder-Neisse line, consisting of the southern two-thirds of East Prussia and most of Pomerania, Neumark (East Brandenburg), and Silesia. The German population was forcibly expelled before these "recovered territories" were repopulated with Poles from central Poland and those expelled from the eastern regions. The area of Zaolzie, which had been occupied and annexed by Poland in late 1938, was returned to Czechoslovakia, by order of Joseph Stalin.

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