World War II ended on May 8, 1945, on the European front, when Germany surrendered to the Allied Powers. The war ended on the Japanese front on Sept. 2, 1945, when the Empire of Japan officially surrendered. Following the war, nations who had fought alongside Germany were ordered to pay reparations to the Allies.
After World War II ended, a conference was held in Potsdam to create peace treaties between the former Axis and Allied forces. At this conference, it was determined that Berlin, the capital of Germany, as well as Germany itself, would be divided into four zones and placed under the control of the United States, France, Great Britain and the Soviet Union. Later, the nation was re-divided into East and West Germany.
Following the war, many of the Nazi leaders who worked closely with Hitler were charged and punished for their crimes at the Nuremberg Trials. This set the precedent for the handling of future war crimes.
One of the challenges following the war was rebuilding Europe, which was left in shambles both physically and economically after the war. The United States contributed to these efforts by sending more than $13 billion worth of food and other goods to Europe. In order to prevent another world war from occurring, the United Nations was formed to promote worldwide peace.