Europe in the 1920s and 1930s – a continent licks its wounds after the devastation of WWI. In this fertile breeding ground for dissent, authoritarian regimes are on the rise.

The Abyss: Rise And Fall Of The Nazis takes a fresh look at the Third Reich from a global and current perspective. It tells us how the Nazis managed to conquer Germany and then half of Europe within a few years. How could that be, with the horrors of World War I still so fresh? Why did it take so long before they were stopped?

A combination of previously unpublished archive material, historic sources and an international team of experts paint a new picture of Hitler’s regime. The series unpicks the complex sequence of events that boosted a new regime, allowing violence and brutality to unfold on an unbelievable scale.

Series One, Episode Four: The Racial State (1933-1934) Sunday, 26 February at 5.30pm

Hardly in office, Hitler gets serious and tries to crush any opposition to the end. This episode demonstrates how Hitler and his NSDAP succeed in seizing complete power over Germany. The most striking thing is that the Nazis seem to act legally, creating decrees and laws for their measures. After the 1933 parliament fire, President Hindenburg signs a decree that suspends freedom of speech.

The Abyss: Rise And Fall Of The Nazis – New Episodes – From Sunday, 26 February at 5.30pm on SBS and SBS on Demand (10 Parts)