At the height of the Second World War, Switzerland decriminalised homosexuality. At the same time, France chose to introduce a law punishing homosexual relationships in certain circumstances. These two examples illustrate contradictory attitudes adopted by European states towards homosexuals during the Second World War.
Going beyond the issue of the persecution of homosexuals and the central role played by Nazi Germany between 1939 and 1945, this book is the first to examine the daily lives of homosexual men and women in wartime. By bringing together European specialists on the subject, it relates a different history, one which was indeed marked by repression but also by enlistment in armies at war and resistance groups, not to mention collaboration. Chapter by chapter, it enables us to better understand why the Second World War was a turning point for gays and lesbians in Europe and why our continent is a leader in the fight against discrimination.