In order to mark the 75th anniversary of the Potsdam Conference of the Heads of Countries – members of the Anti-Hitler Coalition, the Russian Centre of Science and Culture (RCSC) in New Delhi organized an online webinar "The Historical Significance of the Potsdam Conference for the World Community."
More than 50 people took part in the event: prominent political and public figures, heads and members of partner non-governmental organizations, teachers and students of Indian universities. The main speakers of the webinar were: Major Dalbir Singh Co-President of the International Organization “Assembly of the Peoples of Eurasia”, National Secretary, All-Indian Congress Committee (AICC), Mr T.P. Sreenivasan Former Ambassador and Permanent representative of India in the United Nations, Mr Shekhar Dutt Former Governor of Chhattisgarh and Defence Secretary, Capt. 3rd rank Yury Sysoev Assistant of Defence Attaché, The Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of India, Prof. Sanjay Deshpande Director of the Centre of Central Eurasian Studies University of Mumbai, Prof. Sankar Basu President of the Delhi Alumni Association of Soviet/Russian Academic Institutions (DAASAI), Dr. Rajesh Mehta Secretary General of the India-Russia Foundation. The moderator of the webinar was Ms Tatyana Perova Head of the RCSC Teachers’ Training Centre in New Delhi.
Addressing the audience, Major Dalbir Singh noted that the third and last meeting of the heads of powers of the Anti-Hitler Coalition took place in the suburbs of Berlin, which was preceded by the Tehran and Yalta conferences. He stressed that the Potsdam conference was of great importance, because during it Joseph Stalin, Harry Truman and Winston Churchill, who was later replaced by Clement Attlee, made important decisions that had a huge impact on the formation of the geopolitical state of the World for many years to come. “Despite the existing disagreements, the representatives of the three powers that won the World War II found the strength to sit down at the table of negotiations and come to an agreement by making mutual compromises. Today, more than ever, we must follow the example of the Potsdam Conference and together, guided by the principles of peace, solidarity, harmony and humanitarian cooperation, seek solutions to the most pressing problems facing the world community”, - said Major Dalbir Singh.
Drawing attention to the invaluable contribution of the Soviet Union to the victory of the Anti-Hitler Coalition in World War II, Shekhar Dutt stressed that the Soviet people, at the cost of terrible losses and incredible efforts, managed not only to break the onslaught of the Axis powers, but also to free most of Europe from Nazi occupation.
The Indian politician noted that the most important issues on the agenda of the Potsdam Conference were: demilitarization, democratization, and denazification of post-war Germany, which was aimed at reorganizing the political life of the Germans on a peaceful and democratic basis, paying reparations to the affected countries, punishing Nazi criminals, as well as the peaceful settlement of relations with the countries that fought on the side of Germany - Italy, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Finland to ensure long-term peace in Europe. “The main lesson of the Potsdam Conference and World War II is the fact that any differences should be resolved through diplomatic negotiations, not armed conflict, and that the fate of this world lies in the hands of each of us, and the search for a path that will lead humanity to prosperity is our common responsibility”, - concluded Mr Shekhar Dutt.
Welcoming the participants of the webinar, Mr Yuri Sysoev noted the particular importance of delivering reliable and unbiased information about the role of the Soviet Union in the victory over fascism, especially considering the large amount of propaganda aimed at distorting historical facts and deliberately minimizing the contribution of the Soviet people to the outcome of World War II. In his report, he spoke about the Manchurian strategic offensive operation of the Red Army in the Far East, which led to the defeat of the Kwantung Army and the surrender of Japan.
Professor Sankar Basu stressed that the victory of the Soviet Union in the Great Patriotic War will forever remain in history as a symbol of courage and heroism. “Some associate the Potsdam conference with the beginning of the Cold War, I do not agree with this point of view. Its main achievement was a complete and unconditional victory over the ideology of Nazism”, - he said.
As part of the webinar, a documentary film dedicated to the Potsdam conference was shown. At the end of the main part, participants of the webinar were able to ask the organizers and speakers few questions and share their opinions.