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Poland's old and new borders, 1945

Territorial changes of Poland after World War II were very extensive. In 1945, following the Second World War, Poland's borders were redrawn following the decision taken at the Teheran Conference of 1943 at the insistence of the Soviet Union. The eastern Polish territories, which the Soviet Union had occupied in 1939 (minus the Bialystok region) were permanently annexed, and most of their Polish inhabitants expelled. Today these territories are part of Belarus, Ukraine, and Lithuania.

Poland received former German territory east of the Oder-Neisse line in turn, consisting of the southern two thirds of East Prussia and most of Pomerania, Neumark (East Brandenburg), and Silesia. The German population was expelled before these "recovered territories" were repopulated with Poles from central Poland and those expelled from the eastern regions. The area of Zaolzie, which had been annexed by Poland in the autumn of 1938, was returned to Czechoslovakia by order of Joseph Stalin.

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