The 1936 Berlin Olympics are shrouded in myth and tragedy.
Just as Hitler was rising to power, the International Olympic Committee in 1931 granted the German capital the right to host. Banners bearing the swastika hung beside the Olympic flag.
Today, the Olympic Village located in Elstal, Wustermark, on the edge of Berlin, sits in ruins.
In 2008, photographer Sylvain Margaine visited the decaying concrete wasteland for his website and book, “Forbidden Places: Exploring our abandoned heritage.” Take a look inside.
In 1931, Berlin won the right to host the 1936 Summer Games. The city threw all available resources behind an extravagant village, with 145 buildings and a 120,000-seat stadium.
As construction of the Olympic Village ramped up, so did the Nazis’ reign. The newly passed Nuremberg Laws marginalized the Jewish people and stripped them of most political rights.
Source: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Here we see Hitler, center, entering the Olympic Village for an inspection before the games began. The gateway inscription said, “To the Youth of the World.”
Jewish and leftist groups threatened to boycott the games, but the International Olympic Committee insisted that the games’ message of unity would tame the Third Reich.
Source: New York Times
But the games accomplished no such feat. Hitler’s regime went on to commit some of the gravest crimes in history.
Today the 1936 Berlin Olympic Village sits in ruins. Photographer Sylvain Margaine visited the site in 2008 for his book, “Forbidden Places: Exploring our Abandoned Heritage.”
The House of Nations, a main dining hall, was the centerpiece of Berlin’s Olympic Village.
The 38 dining rooms inside were each designated for athletes of a different country.
Source: Haute Vitrine