[POTSDAM CONFERENCE, 1945]. Oversized color photograph of the attendees of the Potsdam Conference seated at a large round table, signed on the mat in ink by President HARRY S. TRUMAN ("Harry S Truman"), British Prime Minister WINSTON S.CHURCHILL ("Winston S Churchill"), Truman's Chief of Staff, Admiral William Leahy and one other unidentified participant, [Potsdam, July 1945]. 18½ x 22 inches, matted and framed. Fine.
A FINE OVERSIZED PHOTOGRAPH OF THE POTSDAM CONFERENCE
The Potsdam Conference, held a month after the final defeat of Germany but before the Japanese had surrendered, was the last meeting in World War II between the three Allied Chiefs of State (Churchill was supplanted late in the conference by the new Prime Minister, Clement Atlee). In their cordial meetings, terms were fixed for the occupation of Germany and the Potsdam Declaration, calling for the Japanese surrender, was adopted by Great Britain and the United States (the Soviet Union had yet to declare war on Japan). Here, a circle of 15 senior delegates to the historic conference are seated around a large table with a centerpiece of the nations' flags. Stalin, to the far left in the photo, sits back from the table, gazing upwards. Churchill is seated with his back towards the camera (a cigar resting in his ashtray), Truman at the right, pen in hand. During the meetings, Truman received top-secret telegrams announcing the successful test of the first atomic bomb at Alamagordo, New Mexico. On July 22, Truman and his Chiefs of Staff held a secret conference to make a final decision on the use of the new weapon. Churchill was informed of the bomb, but the news was kept from Stalin until the plenary session of July 24, when Truman "strolled over to the Russian leader and told him that the United States had created a new weapon 'of unusual destructive force.'" Prime Minister Churchill and Secretary of State Byrnes stood only a few yards away, studying Stalin's reaction. He was remarkably cool" (Margaret Truman, Harry S. Truman, p.276-277).