Hitler's abandoned Olympic Village is now a decaying concrete wasteland — take a look

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.

See inside the abandoned 1936 Olympic village
See Gallery
See inside the abandoned 1936 Olympic village

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.

In this photo, Adolf Hitler and the Crown Prince of Italy attend the Berlin Olympics in 1936.

Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

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.

In this photo, Germany gives the Nazi salute at the Berlin Olympic games against England in 1936.

Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images

The gateway inscription for the Olympic Village 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.

In this photo, USA's Robert Clark, Glenn Morris and John Parker participate in the Berlin Olympics in 1936.

The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images

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. 
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.
Records show that in just three weeks, athletes and their coaches ate 100 cows, 91 pigs, and more than 650 lambs and drank 8,000 pounds of coffee.
The gymnasium where athletes trained was once sunlit and airy.
The indoor pool also sits empty and unused now.
Conservationists spent a reported $2.25 million restoring the pool house's roof.
Paint is chipping off the walls of the athletes' changing rooms.
There are few reminders left of the German Reich. In the amphitheater, a base-relief sculpture by German artist Walter von Ruckteschell shows German troops marching.
After the games, the facilities served as a German military academy and later as a hospital for troops wounded in World War II. A painting of Russian revolutionary leader Vladimir Ilyich Lenin on a decaying wall hints at what else became of the historic Olympic Village.
It served as an interrogation and torture center under Communist rule. Soviet forces occupied the Olympic Village for 50 years. These barracks rot away on the outskirts.
Here is the current state of the former swimming pool.
The former Olympic Village
The former Olympic Village
The former Olympic Village
US athlete Jesse Owens' room in the 1936 Olympic Village.
Former Olympic Village's sports hall
The amphitheatre in the Olympic Village in Elstal.

See Also:

SEE ALSO: What it's like in Pyeongchang, South Korea — the host city of the 2018 Olympics

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.