An original wartime press photograph of Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill shaking hands with President Harry S. Truman at the Potsdam Conference on 23 July 1945, three days before the end of Churchill's wartime premiership
An original wartime press photograph of Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill shaking hands with President Harry S. Truman at the Potsdam Conference on 23 July 1945, three days before the end of Churchill's wartime premiership

An original wartime press photograph of Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill shaking hands with President Harry S. Truman at the Potsdam Conference on 23 July 1945, three days before the end of Churchill's wartime premiership

London: British Official Photograph issued by Photographic News Agencies Ltd., published by The Daily Telegraph, 25 July 1945. Photograph. This original press photograph captures Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill and President Harry S. Truman at the Potsdam Conference. The gelatin silver print on matte photo paper measures 6 x 8 inches (15.3 x 20.3 cm). Condition is very good. The paper is crisp, clean, and free of scuffing with only light edge wear, and some cockling along the bottom edge. This press photo once belonged to the working archives of The Daily Telegraph and their Art Department added gray paint to the background for increased contrast as well as crop markings. The verso bears a copyright stamp reading “British Official Photograph No.____ Issued by Photographic News Agencies, Ltd.”, a received stamp of The Daily Telegraph dated 25 JUL, a published stamp of The Daily Telegraph dated 22 OCT 1947, handwritten printing notations, and a typed caption titled, “BIG THREE CONFERENCE, BERLIN.” The photograph was apparently specifically embargoed; above the caption title is printed “FOR FIRST PUBLICATION DAILY PAPERS, WEDNESDAY, 25.7.45. BRITISH OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH NO. BU. 9193 (XP) War Office Photograph – Crown Copyright Reserved”. The caption itself reads, “Mr. Churchill, entertained President Truman and Generalissimo Stalin to a dinner party at the Prime Minister’s Residence, at Potsdam, 23rd July, 1945.” This photograph is housed in a removable, archival mylar sleeve within a rigid, crimson cloth folder. Following the German surrender on 8 May 1945, the three allied leaders, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the new U.S. President Harry Truman, and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin, agreed to a summer meeting to negotiate postwar reconstruction in Europe. The conference was held in Potsdam, in occupied Germany, from 17 July to 2 August 1945. The death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt on 12 April struck a blow to Churchill’s carefully cultivated relationship with the US. Truman was FDR’s vice-president for only 82 days before he became the 33rd U.S. president. As Churchill remarked to the King, “Ties have been shorn asunder which years had woven. We have to begin again in many ways.” Nevertheless, Churchill was impressed with the new President, whom he described as “A man of immense determination. He takes no notice of delicate ground, he just plants his foot down firmly upon it.” At the conference Truman officially told Stalin about the existence of the Atomic Bomb, which had been tested in Alamogordo, New Mexico, just a day before the conference began on 16 July. Stalin, who had spies inside the Manhattan Project and was fully informed, feigned surprise. The conference concluded with the issuing of the Potsdam Declaration, which demanded that Japan surrender or face “prompt and utter destruction”. The conference - the last of the "Big Three" meetings during the Second World War - coincided with the UK General Election of 1945. As the conference began, Churchill did not know that Roosevelt’s death would not be the only dramatic change in leadership. Having done so much to win the war, Churchill faced frustration of his postwar plans when his wartime government fell to a Labour General Election landslide. On 26 July 1945, only three days after this photo was taken, Churchill resigned his premiership. He would be relegated to Leader of the Opposition for more than six years until the October 1951 General Election, when Churchill’s Conservatives outpaced Labour, returning Churchill to 10 Downing Street for his second and final premiership. By this time, only 15 months remained in President Truman’s second and final term as President. Item #005563

Price: $420.00

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