Rio de Janeiro Conference, a meeting of the foreign ministers of the republics of the Western Hemisphere held at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in January, 1942. The conference, held a month after the United States entered World War II, recommended that those Latin American countries that had not already done so sever diplomatic and commercial relations with Germany, Italy, and Japan. All complied at once except Chile and Argentina. Chile did not break relations until January, 1943; Argentina waited until January, 1944. The conference also called for suppression of pro-Axis activity in the Americas, arranged for economic cooperation within the hemisphere, and established an Inter-American defense board.
In 1939, a group of scientists, many having recently arrived in the United States after fleeing Nazi persecution in Germany, informed government officials that recent experiments conducted in Germany had demonstrated the feasibility of building an atomic weapon.
The Russian Army repelling Hitler's forces put an end to the bloodiest battle in history. The German surrender came on February 2, 1943. Over 91,000 Axis soldiers were taken prisoner by Russian forces. Learn about it and other World War II events of this period.