Item #007881 An original Second World War U.S. Army Signal Corps photograph of Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin and U.S. President Harry S. Truman, accompanied by an entourage including Soviet Ambassador to the United States Andrei Gromyko, U.S. Secretary of State James Byrnes, and Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov, during Truman's visit at Premier Stalin's residence during the Potsdam Conference on 18 July 1945
An original Second World War U.S. Army Signal Corps photograph of Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin and U.S. President Harry S. Truman, accompanied by an entourage including Soviet Ambassador to the United States Andrei Gromyko, U.S. Secretary of State James Byrnes, and Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov, during Truman's visit at Premier Stalin's residence during the Potsdam Conference on 18 July 1945

An original Second World War U.S. Army Signal Corps photograph of Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin and U.S. President Harry S. Truman, accompanied by an entourage including Soviet Ambassador to the United States Andrei Gromyko, U.S. Secretary of State James Byrnes, and Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov, during Truman's visit at Premier Stalin's residence during the Potsdam Conference on 18 July 1945

Chicago: U.S. Army Signal Corps, 1945. Photograph. This original Second World War U.S. Army Signal Corps photograph captures Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin and U.S. President Harry S. Truman, accompanied by an entourage including Soviet Ambassador to the United States Andrei Gromyko, U.S. Secretary of State James Byrnes, and Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov, during Truman's visit at Premier Stalin's residence during the Potsdam Conference on 18 July 1945. The gelatin silver print on matte photo paper measures 10 x 8.25 inches (25.4 x 21 cm). Condition is very good. The image is crisp and clean with only a hint of wear to the corners and minor scratches visible only under raking light. The image's lower right features the circular emblem of “SIGNAL CORPS U.S. Army” embedded in the negative, as well as an image identification number (“209368”). The verso features a four-line ink stamp reading “U. S. ARMY SIGNAL CORPS PHOTOS | ANTHONY F. WIN | 2439 NORTH FRANCISCO AVE | CHICAGO 47, ILLINOIS”. The image is protected within a clear, archival sleeve.

Following Germany’s unconditional 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. We believe this image to have been captured during Truman’s 18 July 1945 visit to Stalin’s residence during the opening days of the conference. The location is in front of Stalin's residence.

The tensions that beset the conference were both myriad and not severable. Certainly not least among the many was the atomic bomb. Before the conference’s end Truman officially told Stalin about the existence of the Atomic Bomb. Stalin, who had spies inside the Manhattan Project and was fully informed, feigned surprise. Of related significance was the matter of whether “unconditional surrender” would be demanded of Japan. The conference concluded with the issuing of the Potsdam Declaration which demanded that Japan surrender or face “prompt and utter destruction”.

The conference was further complicated by the timing of British politics. The conference - the last of the "Big Three" meetings during the Second World War - coincided with the British General Election of 1945. Having done so much to win the war, Churchill faced frustration of his postwar plans when his wartime government fell to Labour in the General Election held during the conference. On 26 July 1945, only days after this photo was taken, Churchill was replaced as Prime Minister by Clement Attlee, who represented Britain for the rest of the conference.

Churchill 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 the time Churchill returned to 10 Downing Street, the always uneasy and fraught relations with Stalin had devolved to the open contest of the Cold War. Stalin would die as Soviet Premier on 5 March 1953. Truman’s Presidency, bookended by Churchill’s two premierships, ended on 20 January 1953. Item #007881

Price: $300.00

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