|11-14 February 1945
|Held in the Crimean peninsula, the Yalta Conference was the second and final meeting between the “Big Three”—Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Josef Stalin. With the defeat of Germany in sight, the Allied leaders reached a set of agreements pertaining to the treatment of postwar Germany, the creation of the United Nations, and Soviet involvement in the war against Japan.
The most controversial issue discussed at Yalta was that of Poland. The British and Americans still recognized the Polish government-in-exile in London as the legitimate government of Poland, while Stalin had thrown his support behind a communist-dominated regime. Recognizing that the Red Army was actually in occupation of most of Poland, Churchill and Roosevelt agreed to drop their backing of the London Poles. In return Stalin promised that “free and unfettered elections” would be held in Poland as soon as possible. Moreover, the powers agreed to a “Declaration of Liberated Europe” calling for the emergence of democratically-elected governments in all of the countries liberated from Nazi rule.