Germany, a political, economical and social expanse of ruins after the war, was divided into four occupation zones by the victorious Allied Powers of England, France, the USSR and the USA; Berlin received four-power status. The Oder-Neisse Line was declared the eastern border of the country. At first, political control was in the hands of the «Allied Control Council» formed from the supreme commanders of the victorious powers. Leading Nazi party functionaries, officials, military, diplomats and entrepreneurs were brought before the War Crimes Tribunal in Nuremberg. Twelve «main war criminals» were sentenced to death; others received life imprisonment or long prison sentences and some were acquitted.
In 1946 there were already signs of the division of Germany into a western-orientated zone and a zone influenced by the Soviet Union. The systematic development of a federalist state was quickly begun in the West, whilst a state dependent on the Soviet Union arose in the East. Reacting against the currency reform in the West Zone in June 1948, the USSR began the blockade of Berlin, which for one year could only be supplied with rations with the help of an air bridge. The division of Germany for the next decades was sealed with the founding of the FRG and GDR in 1949.