The Declaration of Liberated Europe, Yalta Conference, February 1945.

Earlier in the war, choosing not jeopardize Soviet cooperation in the joint efforts to defeat the Axis powers by refusing Stalin's demands for territorial and political concessions in eastern Europe, Roosevelt used the tactics of delay However, by the close of the conflict, Churchill had recognized Stalin's tenacity over those issues and negotiated a separate agreement that benefited both Soviet and British interests, much to Roosevelt's dismay. As talks commenced between the three powers at Yalta, the issue of Poland immediately created tensions and led to bitter exchanges between Roosevelt and Stalin. Stalin demanded recognition of Polish interests sympathetic to the Soviet Union, while Roosevelt and Churchill bargained for the inclusion of pro-western Poles, and suggested the establishment of an interim government as an immediate resolution to the problem. The Declaration of Liberated Europe, the document that issued from these talks, represented an effort on the part of the U.S. and their British ally to reiterate the policy of self-determination. However, the joint statement also recognized the need for the cooperation of the three powers in governing the areas liberated from the Axis powers, and in assisting those areas to recover economically and to establish peace.

Yalta Conference, February 10, 1945


The Premier of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the President of the United States of America have consulted with each other in the common interests of the people of their countries and those of liberated Europe. They jointly declare their mutual agreement to concert during the temporary period of instability in liberated Europe the policies of their three Governments in assisting the peoples liberated from the domination of Nazi Germany and the peoples of the former Axis satellite states of Europe to solve by democratic means their pressing political and economic problems.

The establishment of order in Europe and the rebuilding of national economic life must be achieved by processes which will enable the liberated peoples to destroy the last vestiges of Nazism and Fascism and to create democratic institutions of their own choice. This is a principle of the Atlantic Charter - the right of all people to choose the form of government under which they will live - the restoration of sovereign rights and self-government to those peoples who have been forcibly deprived to them by the aggressor nations.

To foster the conditions in which the liberated people may exercise these rights, the three governments will jointly assist the people in any European liberated state or former Axis state in Europe where, in their judgment conditions require, (a) to establish conditions of internal peace; (b) to carry out emergency relief measures for the relief of distressed peoples; (c) to form interim governmental authorities broadly representative of all democratic elements in the population and pledged to the earliest possible establishment through free elections of Governments responsive to the will of the people; and (d) to facilitate where necessary the holding of such elections.

The three Governments will consult the other United Nations and provisional authorities or other Governments in Europe when matters of direct interest to them are under consideration. When, in the opinion of the three Governments, conditions in any European liberated state or former Axis satellite in Europe make such action necessary, they will immediately consult together on the measure necessary to discharge the joint responsibilities set forth in this declaration.

By this declaration we reaffirm our faith in the principles of the Atlantic Charter, our pledge in the Declaration by the United Nations and our determination to build in cooperation with other peace-loving nations world order, under law, dedicated to peace, security, freedom and general well-being of all mankind.