22 May

After the annexation of Austria and the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia (a territory inhabited by more than 3 million Germans, granted without opposition by European governments), on 22 May 1939 Hitler signed with Mussolini the Steel Pact, a diplomatic and military agreement that provides for the entry into war of the two contracting countries even in the event of conflict caused by unilateral aggression. On 23 August 1939, the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact was signed between Germany and the Soviet Union. Stalin obtained the intangibility of Soviet territory and Hitler guaranteed himself the freedom of manoeuvre to unleash his expansionist plans. The new alliance of the two historical enemies threw the anti-fascist forces into discouragement and gave Hitler the guarantee of non-aggression on the eastern front to start the war.

The agreement also included a non-aggression pact with a secret clause on the partition of Poland. In the meantime, Hitler finalized Operation T4, the extermination of the disabled already sterilized, and an office was set up to fight homosexuality and abortion. Tens of thousands of homosexuals are sentenced and then interned in the concentration camps, officially to proceed to their “re-education” but in reality to be suppressed.