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The Paris Peace Conference (July 29 to October 15, 1946) resulted in the Paris Peace Treaties signed on February 10, 1947. The victorious wartime Allied powers (principally the USA, USSR, UK, France and Canada) negotiated the details of treaties with Italy, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Finland (see the List of countries involved in World War II).

Rt. Hon. W.L. Mackenzie King and colleagues at the Paris Peace Conference, Palais du Luxembourg. (L.-r.:) Norman Robertson, Rt. Hon. William Lyon Mackenzie King, Hon. Brooke Claxton, Arnold Heeney

The treaties allowed Italy, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Finland to reassume their responsibilities as sovereign states in international affairs and to qualify for membership in the United Nations.

The settlement elaborated in the peace treaties included payment of war reparations, commitment to minority rights and territorial adjustments including the end of the Italian Colonial Empire in Africa and changes to the Italian–Yugoslav, Hungarian–Slovak, Romanian–Hungarian, Soviet–Romanian, Bulgarian–Romanian, French–Italian and Soviet–Finnish frontiers.

The political clauses stipulated that the signatory should: take all measures necessary to secure to all persons under (its) jurisdiction, without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion, the enjoyment of human rights and of the fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression, of press and publication, of religious worship, of political opinion and of public meeting.

No penalties were to be visited on nationals because of wartime partisanship for the Allies. Each government undertook to prevent the resurgence of fascist organizations or any others, whether political, military or semi-military, whose purpose it is to deprive the people of their democratic rights.

Particularly in Finland, the reparations and the dictated border adjustment were perceived as a major injustice and a betrayal by the Western Powers, after the sympathy Finland had received from the West during the Soviet-initiated Winter War of 1939–1940. However, this sympathy had been eroded by Finland's concessions to Nazi Germany and Finland's aggressive response to Soviet air bombings of 18 Finnish cities on June 25, 1941, starting the Continuation War, during which Finland held a broad strip of Soviet territory occupied 1941–1944. The Soviet Union's accessions of territory were based on the Moscow Armistice signed in Moscow on September 19, 1944 and resulted in an extension of the accessions in the Moscow Peace Treaty (1940) that ended the Winter War.

War reparations

The war reparation problem proved to be one of the most difficult arising from post-war conditions. The Soviet Union, the country most heavily ravaged by the war, felt entitled to the maximum amounts possible, with the exception of Bulgaria, which was perceived as being the most sympathetic of the former enemy states. In the cases of Romania and Hungary, the reparation terms as set forth in their armistices were relatively high and were not revised.

Finland is the only country listed which has fully paid war reparations. Romania ultimately paid about 2 billion USD in goods and money, six times more than the amount stated in the treaty. The country was under Soviet occupation until 1958.

War reparations at 1938 prices:

The collapse of the Soviet Union has not led to any formal revision of the Paris Peace Treaties, although the wars of the former Yugoslavia have led to fundamental territorial changes in the Balkans.

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Simple English

The Paris Peace Conference (July 29 to October 15, 1946) resulted in the Paris Peace Treaties signed on February 10, 1947. The victorious wartime Allied powers (principally the United States, United Kingdom, France and the Soviet Union) negotiated the details of treaties with Italy, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Finland.

The treaties allowed Italy, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Finland to reassume their responsibilities as sovereign states in international affairs and to qualify for membership in the United Nations.



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