Conflicting Post-War Goals
During the Second world war, the United States, the Soviet Union, and Britain had been in an alliance together and were often referred to as the 'Big 3'. As they became victorious however, there were differing opinions on what should happen to some of the countries that had been shaken by the War.
Poland was an important issue because the Second World War had been declared over its invasion. Its future was discussed before the War was over in 1945, at a meeting of the Big 3 in Yalta in the Crimea Islands in the Soviet Union. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the future of the various countries involved.
The United States and Britain wanted to see Poland become a democratic, free country, while the Soviet Union wanted it as a communist country and a buffer. Because the Soviet Union was afraid of Germany rising again, they wanted a buffer of communist countries in Eastern Europe between themselves and Germany. In the case of Poland, the Soviet Union was accommodated.
The issue of Germany was first raised at a meeting of the Big 3 in Tehran, but by the Yalta Conference, it was clear the Soviet Union wanted Germany weak so that it would not be a threat to them. The United States wanted it to become strong by militarizing and industrializing it again.
On April 25, 1945, American and Soviet soldiers met in Germany. The Russians had come from the east after Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, the Americans from the west after D-Day. This meant the end of the War in Europe.
No decision could be made over Germany at that time though so it was split up, to be dealt with later. The Soviet Union would control East Germany, and France, Britain, and the United States the West.