Late in 1944, the Allies were about to win the war in Europe, but the fight was just beginning “behind closed doors.” As the crisis over Poland escalated between the Allies, British prime minister Winston Churchill offered Joseph Stalin a secret deal.
With Stalin’s mistrust of his Western Allies growing for years, the “Big Three” met again though U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt had become seriously ill. At the Yalta conference, they finalized their agreements about post-war Germany and Poland.
Within three months, President Roosevelt passed away and Germany surrendered. The war in Europe was over. Although the Allies met for one last time to try to come to terms about post-war Europe, the Soviets were already denying millions of Europeans the freedoms which many in the West thought the war had been fought to protect.
Episode 3 – Dividing the World reveals just how and why the Western alliance fell apart and dissolved into the Cold War.