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.
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.”