Where the world was divided

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In February 1945, Stalin met with Roosevelt and Churchill at the former czars’ Livadia palace in Yalta on the Crimea, present-day Ukraine, to discuss the future of Europe after the war.

Was Germany to be cut up in pieces after its defeat? Should the Soviet Union join the war against Japan? Who should govern Poland? What would be the domains of interest of Soviet, Britain and the US? How was the UN going to be managed?

Many of these issues were not finally settled at the Yalta conference. Some were to be decided about in a coming peace conference, which never came about. Instead, it turned out that the world order was established as a result of the actual outcomes of the war, with the Soviet Union dominating in EasternEurope and the Western powers in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. So probably the Yalta conference did not have such a big impact after all.

Still there is a very special atmosphere in the palace when you know that the three powerful men and their aides were handling the fate of the world for a week in these actual rooms. This can also give you an imagination for alternative outcomes, in contrafactual paths of history. What if, and what if not?

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Filed under Alternate history, foreign policy, Travels, Ukraine

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