Allied-occupied Germany

Following the collapse and defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II, the victorious Allies asserted joint authority and sovereignty over Germany as a whole, collectively known as Allied-occupied Germany, defined as all territories of the former German Reich west of the Oder–Neisse line, having declared the destruction of Nazi Germany at the death of Adolf Hitler (the 1945 Berlin Declaration). The four powers divided "Germany as a whole" into four occupation zones for administrative purposes under the three Western Allies (the United States, the United Kingdom, and France) and the Soviet Union, respectively. This division was ratified at the August 1945 Potsdam Conference.[2] The four zones were agreed by the United States, United Kingdom and Soviet Union at the February 1945 Yalta Conference, setting aside an earlier division into three zones (excluding France) proposed by the September 1944 London Protocol.

Deutschland  (German)
Anthem: Trizonesien-Song (unofficial, popular replacement anthem in sporting events)[1]
  French occupation zone
  British occupation zone[lower-alpha 1]

  American occupation zone
  Soviet occupation zone[lower-alpha 2]
  Saar Protectorate under the control of France
StatusMilitary occupation
Common languages
Governors (1945) 
 British zone
Bernard Montgomery
 American zone
Dwight D. Eisenhower
 French zone
Jean d.L. de Tassigny
 Soviet zone
Georgy Zhukov
Historical eraCold War
8 May 1945
5 June 1945
16 February 1946
23 May 1949
7 October 1949
12 September 1990
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Nazi Germany
West Germany
East Germany
Saar Protectorate
West Berlin
  1. Joined the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) on 1 January 1957.
  2. Reunited Germany by joining the Federal Republic of Germany on 3 October 1990.
  3. German reunification took place on 3 October 1990.
  4. The western Allied zones of Germany and the western sectors of Berlin.
  5. The Soviet zone of Germany and sector of Berlin.

The four sectors and exclaves of Berlin

All territories annexed by Germany before the war from Austria and Czechoslovakia were returned to these countries. The Memel Territory, annexed by Germany from Lithuania before the war, was annexed by the Soviet Union in 1945 and transferred to the Lithuanian SSR. All territories annexed by Germany during the war from Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland and Yugoslavia were returned to their respective countries.

Deviating from the occupation zones planned according to the London Protocol in 1944, at Potsdam, the United States, United Kingdom and the Soviet Union approved the detachment from Germany of the territories east of the Oder–Neisse line, with the exact line of the boundary to be determined in a final German peace treaty. This treaty was expected to confirm the shifting westward of Poland's borders, as the United Kingdom and United States committed themselves to support the permanent incorporation of eastern Germany into Poland and the Soviet Union. From March 1945 to July 1945, these former eastern territories of Germany had been administered under Soviet military occupation authorities, but following the Potsdam Conference they were handed over to Soviet and Polish civilian administrations and ceased to constitute part of Allied-occupied Germany.

In the closing weeks of fighting in Europe, United States forces had pushed beyond the agreed boundaries for the future zones of occupation, in some places by as much as 320 km (200 miles). The so-called line of contact between Soviet and U.S. forces at the end of hostilities, mostly lying eastward of the July 1945-established inner German border, was temporary. After two months in which they had held areas that had been assigned to the Soviet zone, U.S. forces withdrew in the first days of July 1945.[3] Some have concluded that this was a crucial move that persuaded the Soviet Union to allow American, British and French forces into their designated sectors in Berlin, which occurred at roughly the same time, although the need for intelligence gathering (Operation Paperclip) may also have been a factor.[4] In 1949, two German states of East and West Germany emerged.

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