Showing posts with label Commonwealth War Cemetery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Commonwealth War Cemetery. Show all posts


Heath's Bavarian International School students at Berlin Olympic Stadium
Taking my 2017 cohort of Bavarian International School students to the site of the most spectacular propaganda exercise ever staged by the Nazis. This was the Berlin Olympic Games, held during the first half of August 1936. The Games, though revived in 1896 by Baron Pierre de Coubertin to propagate the Prussian style of physical education and the English tradition of schoolboy sports, had long been consecrated to ideals of global harmony. It was for this reason that Hitler had previously denounced them as "an invention of Jews and Freemasons". Once in power, though, the Führer saw the Olympics as "a splendid chance of enhancing our prestige abroad." As he would later state in one of his 'table talks', "when it was decided that the Olympic Games should be held in Germany, the Ministry of the Interior submitted plans to me for the construction of an appropriate stadium. There were two alternative designs, the one costing eleven hundred thousand and the other fourteen hundred thousand marks. None of the people concerned seems to have taken into consideration the fact that the Olympic Games afforded us a unique opportunity to amass foreign credits, and at the same time a splendid chance of enhancing our prestige abroad. I can still see the faces of my colleagues when I said that I proposed to make a preliminary grant of twenty-eight million marks for the construction of the Berlin stadium! In actual fact, the stadium cost us seventy-seven million marks — but it brought in over half a milliard marks in foreign currency!" Mounted with appropriate pageantry, they could be a brilliant advertisement for the Nazi State and the Nordic race. The so-called Führerbalkon is still there as seen on the right shown then and now.
At least part of this plan was thwarted by the prowess of a young black American athlete, Jesse Owens, who for a while stole the spotlight. "The bright glow of romance," said his home-town newspaper, "hovers over such a feat." As Owens himself remarked years after, he was snubbed not by Hitler but by President Roosevelt, who never congratulated Owens nor invited him to the White House, an honour reserved for white Olympians. However, the Olympiad did realise much of the Führer's fell purpose. According to the French Ambassador to Berlin, André François-Poncet, it was "a great moment, a climax of sorts, if not the apotheosis of Hitler and his Third Reich". Certainly preparations for the event were made on a "Wagnerian scale." The Führer personally authorised the construction of a new stadium, at the Grunewald race-course, to hold more than 100,000 people. At his insistence glass and concrete were shunned in favour of Franconian limestone, Saxon porphyry, Württemberg travertine, basalt from the Eifel, dolomite from Anröchte, granite and marble from Silesia - Hitler's concentration camps were often strategically situated near quarries. The complex surrounding this vast crucible was equally extravagant: the spacious assembly area known as the May Field; the swimming pool flanked by steeply rising stands; the fine gymnastic amphitheatre; the slender 243-foot tower for the sixteen-tonne Olympic bell inscribed with Schiller's line, "I summon the youth of the world." 

For the Olympic Games which took place in Berlin in 1936, the area now called 'Reichsportfeld' was recreated essentially in its present form. The German stadium was largely demolished and replaced by the Olympiastadion, while the Sportforum was supplemented by further buildings. Architecturally, the Olympiastadion in Berlin, with its clear, geometric basic forms, was based on ancient buildings. The architect Werner March had for the essential areas of the Reichsportfeldes Greek equivalents of the Olympic Games. The stadium of 1936 was partially executed as a ground stadium, with only the upper ring covered with Frankish muschel limestone protruding above the ground level, which is why its outward effect was not as overpowering as, for example, the congress hall no longer extant at the Reichsparteitagsagents in Nuremberg. Architect March closely followed Hitler's plans for planning on the 1936 Reichsportfeld. In this Olympia building ensemble the essential dramaturgical moments of the gigantomanic plans of the later period are to be found, as later in the Nuremberg Reichsparteitagsgelände and in the plans for the transformation of Berlin into a "world capital city Germania": urban orientation in axes, pathetic antiquating work incarnation of modern Building constructions, targeted installation of architectural sculptural Nazi sculptures, marching possibilities for the human masses, guide tribes and civil architecture. 
The Olympic construction project became the first of Hitler's large-scale projects. Extending existing planning led to an increase in expenditures from the originally calculated 5.5 million to 42 million reichsmarks (roughly 176 million euros today). 
With 49 participating nations and 3961 athletes, the Olympic Games in Berlin set a new participant record and a new visitor record. For the first time, an Olympic torch relay took place and selected competitions could be seen through the new medium of television. Of course the athlete who stood out was the American track and field athlete Jesse Owens, who would win four gold medals whilst the most successful German athlete was gymnast Konrad Frey who would end up winning three gold medals, one silver medal and two bronze medals. In addition to its sporting importance, the two winter and summer games held in Nazi Germany in 1936 were particularly characterised by the fact that they were instrumentalised by Hitler and the Nazi Party to present the totalitarian state abroad in a positive way- just as the IOC continues to do for Russia and China- whilst at home the Nazi propaganda mainly emphasised the achievements of the German Olympic participants and winners. However, unlike the IOC and FIFA today with their disregard for human rights over their insatiable financial greed, the Games were awarded before the Nazis took power.
Heath's Bavarian International School students at Berlin Olympic StadiumMy BIS students during our 2013 class trip.  The VI. Olympic Games were awarded to Berlin by the IOC for 1916 but in the midst of the preparations came the start of the First World War which ultimately led to the cancellation of the Games. After the end of the war, the IOC excluded Germany from the Olympic community as it being the “official cause of the war”. The ban lasted until 1925 when its re-admission to the IOC led the leadership of the German Olympic Committee to consider bringing the Games back to Berlin. Theodor Lewald, President of the Committee, wrote a letter to Lord Mayor Gustav Böß on February 25, 1929, suggesting a new application from Berlin. At the IX. Olympic Congress Berlin formally presented its candidacy. Reich Minister of the Interior Joseph Wirth outlined the plan in his opening speech in the main auditorium of the Friedrich-Wilhelms-University without, however, specifically mentioning a venue or the year of the games. The application for 1936 was not announced until the evening at a banquet in the City Hall. At this time it had been joined by applications from Alexandria, Barcelona, ​​Budapest, Buenos Aires, Dublin (!), Frankfurt am Main, Helsinki, Cologne, Lausanne, Nuremberg, Rio de Janeiro and Rome. A year later at the thirtieth session of the IOC in Barcelona, ​​only four candidates were left. When Budapest and Rome withdrew their candidacies, there was a runoff between Barcelona and Berlin. A first vote resulted in a majority for Berlin but, given that only twenty of the then 67 IOC members were present at this meeting due to the unrest in Spain, IOC President Henri de Baillet-Latour, with the consent of the two German delegates, proposed that the absent members be given the opportunity to vote by telegraph or postal vote. The final count of votes took place on May 13, 1931 at the IOC's headquarters in Lausanne, in the presence of Mayor Paul Perret and IOC Vice-President Godefroy de Blonay. In the end, 43 IOC members voted for Berlin and 16 for Barcelona, ​​and eight abstained.
1936 Olympic Games poster
When the 1936 Olympic Games were announced after Berlin, the Germany of the Weimar Republic still seemed to be able to hold the Games according to the principles of the "Olympic Idea". However, after Hitler 'seized' power on January 30, 1933, discrimination against Jews caused a wave of outrage and contempt, particularly throughout the English-speaking world, and led to considerations of boycotting the Games given the serious doubts about Germany's compliance with and respect for the "Olympic Charter." Certainly t
here was hostility to British participation in the Games with many fearing it would be used to persuade the German people that Hitler's anti-Semitism was "condoned by the world" and "as a chance of Nazi glorification". The Daily Herald made play with a book written by the Nazis' chief athletics coach, Kurt Muench, who acknowledged that "non-political, so-called 'neutral' sportsmen are unthinkable in Hitler's state" and which described Jews as a "devilish power in the life of the people".  Nevertheless, the Labour MP Philip Noel-Baker was persuaded by his fellow ex-Olympic athlete Harold Abrahams, himself a Jew, to drop his attack on the Berlin Games in The Times (though he did protest in the Manchester Guardian) because opinion in Britain was "more pro-Nazi than it has been at any time."  In the United States, however, there was an outspoken campaign to prevent American athletes from competing "under the Swastika”. Its supporters pointed out that German Jews, banned from public swimming pools and sports centres, could neither train nor compete on equal terms. "Despoiled of good-will, sportsmanship and fair-play, the Games can have no meaning except as a prestige-building enterprise for the Nazi regime."Increased demands were made for equal opportunities for all participants, regardless of religion and race. 1936 Olympic Games posterIOC President Henri de Baillet-Latour at the 32nd session of the IOC from June 5th to 7th, 1933 in Vienna therefore suggested a possible postponement of the Olympic Games in 1936 should the Germans not be prepared to issue a written guarantee that the rules of the "Olympic idea" would be observed. Ready to make compromises in foreign policy, the Nazi government undertook to consistently comply with the Olympic rules. They promised free access for all races and denominations to the Olympic teams and toleration of a politically independent organising committee even though this has not been implemented in practice. Hitler was not informed of this promise at the administrative level, so that after his lengthy conversation with the IOC member Gen. Charles H. Sherrill , a considerable argument broke out, during which the Reichssportfuhrer ended by stating that Jews lacked the moral quality to represent Germany. German left-wing intellectual emigrants in France played a special role, protesting against the holding of the Olympic Games in Germany, above all in the Pariser Tageblatt. The "Comité international pour le respect de l'esprit olympique" was founded in Paris on December 7, 1935 to coordinate these various activities against the holding of the 1936 Olympic Games and consisted of members of the Committees for the Defence of the Olympic Idea of ​​the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, the Scandinavian countries, Czechoslovakia and Switzerland, and also liaised with the American Fair Play Committee.
The older brother of Thomas Mann, Heinrich, used the occasion to declare in words that continue to be ignored today,
A regime based on forced labour and mass enslavement; a regime that prepares for war and exists only through mendacious propaganda, how should such a regime respect peaceful sports and libertarian athletes? Believe me, those international athletes who go to Berlin will be nothing more than gladiators, prisoners and jesters of a dictator who already feels like the master of this world.
The committee also supported the preparations for the People's Olympics from July 19 to 26, 1936 in Barcelona, ​​planned as a counter-Olympic Games, which had to be cancelled due to the onset of the Spanish Civil War, as well as the anti-fascist art exhibition "de olympiade onder dictatuur" in Amsterdam. However, such hollow gestures had no chance against the Nazis' propaganda machine which the IOC was happy to believe. 
1936 Olympic Games Nazi Hitler
The illustration on the left by Georg Fritz from the book Strassen und Bauten Adolf
Hitlers published by the German Labour Front in 1939 and the site today.
Greater weight however was attached to the boycott efforts within the United States, which had already begun in 1933 and were reinforced with the passing of the Nuremberg Race Laws of September 15, 1935. A broad fair play movement had formed here, supported by the major sports associations of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), its largest trade union organisation, the American Federation of Labour (AFL), universities and prominent athletes. The President of the AAU, Avery Brundage, adopted the terminology of the opponents of the Olympics to demand "Fair Play for American Athletes" by allowing them to travel to the Olympic Games to show that the liberal American system was superior to fascism. In fact,
Avery claimed that the boycott was part of a mendacious Jewish-Communist conspiracy and that the Games must go on, to ensure that politics were kept out of sport- a fantastical notion today where millionaire footballers ostentatiously 'take the knee' and complain about virtue-signalling armbands without otherwise showing concern for the issues they supposedly choose to focus on when the cameras show up. Brundage himself at the time was accused of being "a Jew hater and Jew baiter." A boycott of the Olympic Games by the Americans would have meant a considerable loss of image for the Nazi regime. As seen with the recent Games in Russia and China, as well as the World Cup in Qatar, no government wanted to bother itself with moral issues and left it to athletes themselves to choose personal glory over others' suffering. See for example England manager Gareth Southgate going so far as to speak for the slave labourers building the football stadia and accomodation for him and his players- nearly 7,000 of whom died in the process-  to claim[t]hey want football to come to Qatar.” The result then and now was a foregone conclusion. Whilst the Americans selected two Jewish sprinters for the final of the men's 4 x 100 metre relay, Sam Stoller as the starting runner and Marty Glickman as the second, the day before the finale, they were dropped. 
At these Olympic Games, the Olympic torch relay took place for the first time. According to Carl Diem's ​​idea, an Olympic torch was lit in Greece and carried to the opening event in Berlin by 3,400 torch bearers in a run through seven countries over a distance of 3,075 kilometres. The route had been determined and measured by employees of the Ministry of Propaganda. The run started in Olympia on July 20, shown here on the left with Drake Winston at site at the temple of Hera and with Jürgen Ascherfeld on the far left, initially used by Leni Riefenstahl for her film Olympia. Here Nordic immigrants, Nazis maintained, had founded the ancient Greek games. Here the 'sacred flame' was kindled from the sun's rays by a posse of modern Greek virgins - who were perhaps as synthetic as the ceremony itself. Visiting dignitaries listened to a long message, delivered by a Greek orator, from Baron de Coubertin. He was happily able to discern the outlines of a new Europe emerging from "thick morning mist" and recommended for its guidance "an eternal Hellenism that has not ceased to light the way of centuries". It then passed through Athens, Delphi, Sofia (July 25), Belgrade (July 27), Budapest (July 28), Vienna (July 29) and Prague (July 30 ). On August 1 at 11:42 a.m. the torch reached the Berlin city area. Before the Olympic flame was brought to the Olympic Stadium, its arrival was celebrated in a "consecration hour" with 20,000 Hitler Youth and 40,000 SA men in the Lustgarten. Two "altars" located in the Lustgarten and across from the stadtschloss  were lit by torch-bearer Siegfried Eifrig and burned throughout the Olympics. The final runner of the torch relay was the track and field athlete Fritz Schilgen, who lit the Olympic flame during the opening event. Torch runners then brought the flame to the Olympic venues in Kiel (August 2nd) and Berlin-Grünau (August 7th). The 27 centimetre long, 450 gramme torch itself was designed by Walter E. Lemcke and Peter Wolf, and the Krupp company provided the torch holders free of charge. The route of the race was engraved on the shaft as a stylised route map above which was an eagle with folded wings and holding the Olympic rings in its talons. Below the eagle was written in capital letters "Fackel-Staffellauf/Olympia-Berlin/1936".  The tip of the torch was made of magnesium, which burned for approximately ten minutes. All 3400 of the torch bearers selected by the NOK of the seven countries received a certificate in addition to the torch holder. 
Artist Johannes Boehland designed a sign showing the five Olympic rings, an eagle and the Brandenburg Gate. However
Theodor Lewald, the president of the organising committee,  wasn't satisfied with this design and suggested opening the lower part of the sign and thus creating the shape of a bell. On the side of the bell would be the inscription “I call the youth of the world!” Johannes Boehland was commissioned to redesign the sign and implement the ideas. The final sign thus showed the Olympic bell, on which the Olympic rings were depicted with the German eagle. Alongside the Olympic rings, the Olympic flame and the Olympic oath, the bell also became a symbol of the 1936 Olympic Games. 
 For an Olympic hymn, the organising committee first approached the poet Gerhart Hauptmann, who also promised to write a text. However, since he didn't deliver this, Börries von Münchhausen suggested a competition that ended up having close to three thousand entries. Börries von Münchhausen chose four of these texts and sent them to the composer Richard Strauss to be set to music, who chose an unemployed Berlin actor at the time, Robert Lubahn, to read out: 
1936 Olympic Games Nazi Hitler torch
 Peoples! Be our people's guests, come in through the open gate!
 Peace to the festivities! Let honour be the motto of the contest. 
Youth wants to show hot courage, Olympic games! 
Praising your glory in deeds, a pure goal: the Olympics. 
 Pride and prosperity of many countries came forward to fight hard; 
All the fire which burns there, pulses together, high and free. 
Strength and spirit approaches with trepidation. Sacrifice Olympia! 
Who can wear your laurels, fame's sound, Olympia? 
Now as hearts beating with lofty union, Vigour should be the highest in deeds and in legends. 
 Joyfully will champions win, in Olympic victory celebration! Joy is still ours in a realm of peace: the Olympics. Joyful even in defeat, Olympic victory celebration! 
Olympia! Olympia! Olympia!
The anthem celebrated its world premiere on August 1, 1936 during the opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. 
Heath's Bavarian International School students at Berlin Olympic Stadium
The torch race through the Brandenburg Gate and my students during my 2013 Bavarian International School tour. The Olympic Games
afforded the Nazis a golden opportunity to impress the world with the achievements of the Third Reich, and they made the most of it. The signs ”Juden unerwuenscht” (Jews Not Welcome) were quietly hauled down from the shops, hotels, beer gardens and places of public entertainment, the persecution of the Jews and of the two Christian churches temporarily halted, and the country put on its best behaviour. No previous games had seen such a spectacular organization nor such a lavish display of entertainment. Goering, Ribbentrop and Goebbels gave dazzling parties for the foreign visitors – the Propaganda Minister’s ”Italian Night” on the Pfaueninsel near Wannsee gathered more than a thousand guests at dinner in a scene that resembled the Arabian Nights. The visitors, especially those from England and America, were greatly impressed by what they saw: apparently a happy, healthy, friendly people united under Hitler – a far different picture, they said, than they had got from reading the newspaper dispatches from Berlin. And yet underneath the surface, hidden from the tourists during those splendid late-summer Olympic days in Berlin and indeed overlooked by most Germans or accepted by them with a startling passivity, there seemed to be – to a foreigner at least – a degrading transformation of German life.
Hitler Olympic stadium
Hitler at May Day celebrations in Olympic stadium at 1939 on the left and as it appears today. In view of the propaganda opportunities that a successful staging of the 1936 Olympic Games would offer, Hitler emphasised that he would do everything to make the Games as perfect as possible. With the Olympic Games he wanted to show the whole world that under his leadership Germany was a peace-loving, socially and economically up-and-coming country. In order to achieve this goal, he even tolerated the fact that Theodor Lewald, the president of the organising committee, was in Nazi parlance a “half-Jew." In order to prevent the Games from being moved elsewhere, Hitler officially responded to the IOC's demands for compliance with the Olympic rules. The regime made the most concerted effort to shield visitors from vulgar expressions of anti-Semitism during the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. The display cases erected at bus stops and newsstands for the rabidly racist tabloid, Der Stürmer, were dismantled; banners advising that Jews were not welcome were removed from city entrances. However, while these measures acted as an elaborate smokescreen for the Nazis’ true ethnic hatreds, the Olympics themselves were otherwise about putting Nazi Germany on display for the world to see.
Heath's Bavarian International School students at Berlin Olympic Stadium
The touristic event of the Third Reich was also a Nazi event, one that celebrated Nazism even as it camouflaged its most sinister side. The promotional material about the Games that was sent abroad was certainly never free of swastikas. In foreign advertisements, Hitler himself appeared alongside the Olympic bell, both of them summoning ‘the youth of the world’ to Berlin. 
The government itself pledged to allow free entry "for all races and creeds" into the Olympic teams. In order to counter the boycott efforts, the organisers made a commitment to the IOC not to exclude German Jews from the games as a matter of principle. In the end, however, only one “half-Jew” belonged to the German Olympic team, the fencer Helene Mayer , who won a silver medal. Just before the start of the games, Gretel was prevented from participating by the Nazi regime for racial reasons and on the grounds of an alleged violation. The Nazis had previously forced the track and field athlete to return from England, where she had emigrated, and to train for the games in Berlin by threatening reprisals to her family who remained in Germany. Werner Seelenbinder , the popular multiple German wrestling champion, had a similar token function, and as a well-known communist he was allowed to take part in the games. Seelenbinder was still active in sports after the games, but was arrested in 1942 and beheaded with an axe in Brandenburg prison in 1944.
 The opening ceremonies on the left. In addition to the possibility of using the games to deceive foreign countries about the true nature of the Nazi state, the opportunity to counter the economic misery with various construction measures, to reduce the number of unemployed and in this way to increase the popularity of the government was another motive for Hitler's efforts, justifying his decision for the extensive construction project of the Reichssportfeld by declaring that "[w]hen you have four million unemployed, you have to find work" as quoted in Lewald's notes. However, the direct impact on the number of employees remained low. At the time of the construction of the Olympic facilities in Berlin, no more than 2000 construction assistants were used, mostly uskilled labour, for which could only be used initially for earthworks.
1936 Olympic Games Nazi Hitler
The Nazis also hoped for propaganda and economic benefits from increasing tourism. The Olympic Games were also a welcome occasion, the physical training demanded by Nazi ideology, the "cultivation of perfectly healthy bodies" for a healthy "national body“ with regard to military training and use in war, to be propagated on a broad basis and also to be put into practice. By integrating all compatriots into the preparations for the 1936 Olympic Games, identification with and loyalty to the regime was to be achieved. The propaganda emphasised that no German should only feel like a visitor to the Olympic Games, but that every German should have the awareness of being a sponsor and thus a participant in the Games. With the slogan "Olympia - a national task", Goebbels and Minister of the Interior Wilhelm Frick declared how Germans were prepared in the desired direction for the Olympic Games. A successful Olympics should not only serve as an appeal to the competing states, but also give the German people new self-confidence.
1936 Olympic Games Nazi Hitler cauldron
On the right, the Olympic flame cauldron then and as it appears today. To the outside world the Nazis wanted to hold the world up against the size and importance of Germany, trump all previous Olympic Games and present themselves as peace-loving and cosmopolitan. However, the ambiguity of the system was revealed in the cynical and unscrupulous way in which the Nazis whitewashed the true state of affairs in Germany in front of their guests. With houses and streets decorated with flags and garlands, a perfect facade was built to give the impression of a neat, clean, civil and social Germany. In order to deceive international guests about the ongoing discrimination and persecution of Jews in Germany, Karl Ritter von Halt, the organiser of the Winter Games, arranged for the removal of all anti-Semitic signs (such as those reading "Jews undesirable") in Berlin for the period of the games which is why the Hitler Youth sang "After the Olympics we'll beat the Jews to jam." Any anti-Jewish statements were to be avoided during the games. Before publication, each issue of  Der Stürmer had to be submitted to the police department of the Bavarian State Ministry of the Interior for examination. Editors who violated this order and continued to publish anti-Semitic hate campaigns were taken into protective custody. Nevertheless, shortly before the opening of the Summer Olympics, the Roma and Sinti living in Berlin were taken to a forced camp in Marzahn on the outskirts of the city. At he same time Nazi propaganda was celebrating the “World Peace Festival”, the Sachsenhausen concentration camp was being built near Berlin.
1936 Olympic Games Nazi Hitler
On the left SS men are seen relaxing on the south lawn of the stadium during the Games. Although, like other Germans, SA men were under orders to behave politely to all guests irrespective of their race, even Hitler could not stop them from getting drunk in the streets of his Potemkin city when they cried out: "When the Olympics are past, the Jews will be gassed."  
 At the opening ceremonies of the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin and the 1936 Winter Games in Garmisch-Partenkirchen , the spectators cheered the Olympic teams as they entered the stadium when the athletes raised their right arms and stretched out the supposed Hitler salute. What few people knew at the time, however, was that this outstretched salute was also the Olympic salute . The Hindenburg airship, which was overwhelming in terms of its dimensions, was also used as part of the opening ceremony, with swastikas affixed to its four tail fins. 
Olympic stadium is shown as it appeared during the 1936 Olympics with the Hindenburg flying low and today.Here the Olympic stadium is shown as it appeared during the 1936 Olympics with the Hindenburg flying low and today. Nine months before its fiery demise, the Hindenburg took part in the ceremonyon the rainy opening day the airship was cheered to an echo as it cruised over the city and the nearby athletics stadium trailing a giant Olympic banner, its five linked rings, the multicoloured insignia of international unity, contrasted starkly with the black swastikas, emblems of aggressive nationalism, emblazoned on the airship's tail fins. Yet this juxtaposition, multiplied a million-fold in the forest of flags on the ground, reflected the paradoxical nature of the eleventh Olympiad. It also suggested, to those with eyes to see, the barefaced duplicity of Nazism. Shortly before Adolf Hitler appeared at the opening ceremony, the airship hauled the Olympic flag attached to a long rope over the spectator stands. 
Economically, too, the Olympic Games were a great success for Germany. During talks in the Wolfsschanze on April 12, 1942, Hitler announced that the games had brought in half a billion in foreign currency . During the Olympic Games, 23 million foreign currencies were exchanged at Berlin banks, and all foreigners had to pay for their tickets in foreign currency. The proceeds from the tickets brought in 9,034,442.79 Reichsmarks , but the total takings are unknown. A ticket for wrestling or polo cost one Reichsmark, for track and field events or baseball demonstrations about four Reichsmarks. A total of almost 3.8 million tickets were sold. The organisational costs amounted to around 6.5 million Reichsmarks, and the city of Berlin also invested 16.5 million Reichsmarks in the expansion of the infrastructure and almost 100 million Reichsmarks in the construction of the sports facilities. As far as the specific Olympic costs are concerned, according to Carl Diem, there was a surplus of 4.5 million Reichsmarks.Hitler Olympic Games 1936
After the 1936 Olympic Games, Hitler announced in September 1937 that Germany would not take part in any more games. In the future, he said, the greatest sporting events in the world and the greatest sporting competitions that have ever taken place would be held in Nuremberg under our own management. Behind Hitler's statement was not just a fantasy. At the end of November 1936, an order was signed according to which so-called National Socialist combat games were to be held under the auspices of the SA. Thus such martial contests were a kind of national Olympiad and intended as a continuation or replacement of the Olympic Games. Albert Speer informed Hitler in the course of 1937 that the previous plans for the German Stadium did not conform to the Olympic dimensions. He then received an answer from Hitler that this was completely unimportant since, after 1940, the Olympic Games would take place in Germany for all time, in this stadium. And how the sports field is dimensioned, he continued, we then decide!
Werner and Walter March's 1936 plan.
Werner and Walter March's 1936 plan.
The 1936 Games represented a triumph of National Socialist propaganda. They created an extremely favourable impression of the new Germany for most foreign visitors and thereby blinded the majority to the regime’s real ambitions. ‘Almost no one escaped the impression that the new Germans were working hard, were playing hard, were at peace, and would stay that way,’ one historian rightly concludes. Even some Jewish Germans were misled. ‘For me,’ reminisced historian Peter Gay, ‘the most formidable adventure of the year, breathlessly anticipated and just as breathlessly enjoyed, were the Olympic Games. The atmosphere was electric and contagious. ... It took me some years to recognise the political side of this bracing event. The Olympic Games had been staged by the regime with an eye to world opinion.’ In turn, the overwhelmingly positive impressions gained by foreigners also had an effect on non-Jewish Germans. The unabashed foreign enthusiasm of the Olympics and Germany as whole became a further endorsement of ‘their’ system of government. 
The Olympiastadion was one of the few buildings that survived not just in a recognisable form, but almost untouched after the war, only suffering machine gun shots. The most significant battle around the Olympiastadion was in April 1945 when the Soviets sought to capture it. This was during the great final battle of the Second World War in Europe, with the total invasion of Berlin as the Allies' target.
Olympic stadium then and now berlin 1936 speer

 Standing in front of the stadium. The clock on the left tower remains, but the sun-style swastika has been removed.
Monuments to international sport, the Olympic edifices were also a potent and uncompromising expression of Nazism. The same was true of the Olympic village at Döberitz. A signal improvement on the accommodation pioneered for the Los Angeles Games of 1932, it included 160 tile-roofed bungalows  nestling amid woods and lakes in a landscape specially sprayed to get rid of the mosquitoes. Here the male athletes were both housed and pampered. Their hosts catered for national tastes in sleeping as well as eating, providing mattresses for Americans, duvets for Swiss, tatami mats for Japanese. But, built by army engineers, the village had a double purpose: after the Games it became an infantry training centre. Berlin itself, as the American novelist Thomas Wolfe observed, was "transformed into a kind of annex" to the Olympic stadium. Prior to this metamorphosis the capital had been drab and pinched, full of dilapidated buildings, rundown enterprises and dingy shops besieged by food queues. It was so depressed that even New York seemed buoyant by comparison, as a Berliner enthralled by Times Square observed: The dazzling display of flickering advertisements, figures and names, Hashing and disappearing in uninterrupted glitter, was bewildering - like a mirage, a fairy-tale of plenty. Poor old Europe - fortunate America! The difference between the old and the New World seems symbolised in this mélange of colour and light. Now Berlin sought to outshine New York.Traces of Evil It was cleaned, primped, painted, polished and swathed in miles of banners and bunting. The cosmetic process began along the main routes into the city. Houses facing the railway tracks had uniform window decorations and each mainline station was festooned with 700 square yards of swastika flags and 500 square yards of Olympic flags, as well as 4,200 metres of oakleaf garlands and fifty massive wreaths. The streets and squares of Berlin, sprouting green, loudspeakered flagpoles at regular intervals, were decked-out out in similar fashion. None was more magnificent than the so-called Via Triumphalis, which led from the Lustgarten through Unter den Linden, beneath the Brandenburg Gate (itself bristling with flags and garlands), along the broad avenues of the Tiergarten to the Olympic stadium. For the benefit of visitors the capital was filled with uniformed interpreters. The legion of prostitutes, which had dwindled since the dissolute days of Weimar, was reinforced by recruits summoned from the provinces. But the city was purged of pickpockets and petty criminals.
Releasing doves at the opening of the Games- the 1936 Games pioneered this ritual. Releasing doves at the opening of the Games- the 1936 Games pioneered this ritual.  
In order to undermine American attempts to boycott the Olympics, the Nazis made small concessions. For example, a few token Jews, including the foil champion Helene Mayer who looked every inch an Aryan, were selected to represent Germany. The "chosen handful”, as the Manchester Guardian put it, were "paraded before foreign eyes, food for the credulous". Yet such gestures were effective. So was Goebbels's charge that transatlantic protests about Nazi anti-Semitism were consummate hypocrisy. Athletic apartheid was as prevalent throughout the United States as other forms of racism, though, according to a typically smug piece of cant in the New York Times, few literate Americans "made a philosophy of the thing”. Instead they practised racial discrimination in "the good, old thick-headed, prejudiced, irrational human fashion." Without question he was hopelessly fooled by the Nazis. Yet, as British Ambassador Sir Eric Phipps noted, they would never be able to succeed in their aim of deceiving "everybody all the time".
1936 Olympic polo competition.
The 1936 Olympic polo competition. This would end up being the last polo tournament held at the Games. The match was played according to the rules of the Hurlingham Polo Club in London with the only change in the regulations being the change of ends after each goal. Seven chukkers of eight minutes each were played. The hope that the United States and the famous Indian team would also take part was not fulfilled. The teams were divided according to their skill level. Argentina and Great Britain played in the strong group with Mexico and determined the final pairing. In the weak group, Germany and Hungary played one participant for the 3rd place match. 1936 Olympic polo competition.Since the game between Hungary and Germany remained a draw in the preliminary round even after extra time, a replay was scheduled which the team from Hungary clearly won. Germany was represented by the only club still in existence today, the Hamburger Polo Club, founded in 1896. After the war in particular it became logistically and financially unviable to host Polo in the Olympics. Not all countries or cities have a polo field, as these require at least five hectares per field. Polo itself is played on enormous pitches that are the equivalent to nine football pitches combined. Even though there are only four players per team, each team requires at least 25 horses with the result that the infrastructure is very costly, as they require stables for each horse. At the highest level, each player uses between six and twelve horses per match.
Nazi-era statues, such as Karl Albiker's discus thrower and relay racer,
There are still numerous sculptures on the grounds of the Sportforum. Nazi-era statues, such as Karl Albiker's discus thrower and relay racer, are among the disputed works that are still permitted to surround the stadium. On the left Albiker's Relay Runners can be seen in the background during the Olympiade as attendees sunbathe, and as they appear in situ today. When the art committee looked at the designs of several artists on December 17, 1935, the decision had actually already been made to choose Albiker, stating that after "examining the proposals ... for the two groups of figures at the east end and unanimously agrees with the decision made on the occasion of the individual visits by State Secretary Pfundtner and President Hönig with sculptor Isenbeck to the effect that Professor Albiker's proposals are far superior to the rest of the to be given priority and he should be commissioned with the immediate processing of the models on a larger scale. The upright, columnar development of Albiker's figures is inevitably given by the verticalisation of the towers and the pillars of the arena, as well as by their isolated position against the open sky, while the more or less layered solutions of the other candidates do not have the desired decisiveness in the end of the hedge with the award ceremony.” Nazi-era statues, such as Karl Albiker's discus thrower and relay racer,  berlin olympic stadiumHis other sculpture, Diskuswerfer, shown on the right, is also located on the grounds surrounding the Olympic Stadium. Although listed as one of the most important visual artists of the Third Reich and featured in the regime's Gottbegnadeten-List, a list of German artists compiled in August 1944 in the last stages of the war by Goebbels to identify those whom the Nazis considered especially important were therefore placed under special protection by it, Albiker himself came under journalistic pressure when the Nazis came to power because he supported the appointment of modern artists such as Otto Dix. He ended up losing all his posts except his professorship. On May 1, 1933 however he joined the Nazi Party (membership number 2,458,650). The Nazi regime, which admittedly lacked artists who could have expressed its ideology, favoured artistic activity through the 1934 Kunst-am-Bau- decree and commissioned sculptors such as Karl Albiker, Richard Scheibe, and Joseph Wackerle, who had already made a name for themselves in the 1920s with the creation of large-scale sculptures for public spaces, as part of the conversion project for the Berlin Sports Forum into the Reichssportfeld. In 1935, Albiker was briefly included in the programme for the sculptural design of the overall area. After the Olympics Albiker worked in the preselection of works for the Great German Art Exhibition and took part himself with a work. In 1943 he took on nine papers from Reichsleiter Baldur von Schirach-organised exhibition Young Art in the German Reich in Vienna, followed in 1944 again with a plaster model of the air district command frieze at the Great German Art Exhibition.
Josef Thorak's Faustkämpfer (Boxer), modelled on Max Schmeling,Josef Thorak's Faustkämpfer (Boxer), modelled on Max Schmeling, Thorak's neighbour in Bad Saarow. In July 1935, unaware of Hitler's preferences, the Art Committee rejected proposals from Thorak. It was not until shortly before the games began, in March 1936, when the budget had long been exhausted, that Hitler's appreciation became known. For a short time, Thorak's bust of Hitler was integrated into the Haus des Deutschen Sport (the empty pedestal is still in its original place) and a huge boxer figure was also set up. The costs for this figure were covered by Hitler's Reich Chancellery. Although the statue is rather crude, it was used as a backdrop for a photograph of swimwear in 1938 seen here.
Once [Hitler] stayed up until 3:15 A.M. to hear the result of the boxing match in the U.S.A. between Max Schmeling and the Negro Joe Louis; but his champion was defeated, and for days afterward his adjutants grinned as they handed him the dutifully translated telegrams sent by U.S. citizens to the Führer. ‘Herr Adolph Hitler, Berlin, Germany,’ cabled one correspondent from Colorado. ‘How do you feel after tonight’s defeat of Nazi number one pugilist, defeated by Afro-American?’ And another, ‘Our sympathies on the disgraceful showing Herr Max made tonight. Just about as long as you would last if we tied in to Germany.’
Irving (95) Hitler's War
Josef Wackerle's Rosseführer (1936)
On either side of this entrance are Josef Wackerle's Rosseführer (1936). Here British troops are atop one after the fall of the Third Reich. The Munich-based sculptor who had belonged to the jury for the competition for the entrance pillars of the open-air stage, was also the dominant sculptor on the art committee. It was probably his idea that several plastic accents should be set between the stadium and the Maifeld. Amongst other things, it was suggested in the protocol of March 7, 1935 “to attach horse sculptures with horse drivers to the west of the portal [marathon gate] in the direction of the parade ground.” At the same meeting it was decided that “Prof. Wackerle should be given the horse taming duties. Wackerle (and Jansen) are to be asked for outline proposals, taking into account the later fee.” One of the committee members thus received the most valuable commission (90,000 RM). At the second meeting of the Art Committee on July 5, 1935, Wackerle presented drafts; Thereupon it was decided: “Professor Wackerle’s suggestions for the groups of horse leaders met with unanimous approval, but the figures should stand on the base without a plate and the robes should be kept simpler and more austere. The proposals in their current form are to be presented to the Fuehrer.” The stylistic change from the softly modeled draft to the final version is serious. An enlarged model was presented at the third meeting on December 17, 1935: “One of the Rossefuhrer groups was edited by Prof. Wackerle at a scale of 1:5 and is included in the photo. The work meets with general approval.” In his "Deutsche Plastik der Zeit", art historian Kurt Lothar Tank wrote that Wackerle's "men leading horses of the Reich Sport Field a work of art, which in its closed, powerful form ranks them among the very best works in the monumental sculpture up to now."
Olympic bell tower at the time and as it appears today.
The Olympic bell tower at the time and as it appears today. It was originally built in 1934-1936 according to plans by Werner March. The steel skeleton construction was clad with limestone slabs. A number of observation stands for the festival management, police, medical service as well as for radio and film reporting were housed within its numerous floors. The Langemarck Hall below on the ground floor celebrates the so-called Mythos von Langemarck with records of military honours and sacrificial deaths. The bell tower and Langemarckhalle form the western boundary of the Maifeld with a hill known as the west wall, built before the fortifications of the same name were conceived. During the construction phase, the bell tower was also known as called the Führerturm. Below the bell tower, in the grandstands facing the Maifeld, was the so-called “Führerstand”, under which large crowds of people could leave the Maifeld and greet Hitler through an eight-metre-wide gate. 
The Langemarck Hall underneath where plaques commemorating the Eleventh Olympic Games in Berlin, its committee heads, and medal winners are presented. 
Hitler inside the Langemarckhalle during the Games and today   
Hitler inside the Langemarckhalle during the Games and today
Traces of Evil
The 4.28 metre high Olympic bell of the original tower - with a diametre of around 2.8 metres - was cast on August 14, 1935 by the Bochum Association for Cast Steel Fabrication and lifted into the bell tower after its ceremonial transfer, shown here on the left being taken across Unter den Linden, on May 11, 1936.  The idea for this bell came from Theodor Lewald, and a sketch was made by the graphic artist Johannes Böhland. The bell itself was then declared the official symbol of the Olympic Games on July 18, 1933. The sculptor Walter E. Lemcke based his design and model on Böhland's sketch. Lemcke, a student at the Berlin School of Applied Arts, was primarily entrusted with the design of coats of arms and friezes throughout  the Nazi period. The Olympic bell, a foundation of the "Bochumer Verein für Gussstahlfabrikation AG", was hung in the bell tower on Maifeld in 1936. The bell was transferred from Bochum to Berlin in January 1936 on a low-loader ( Culemeyer R 40) . The tour through various German cities (the so-called “Triumphzug”) was used extensively for propaganda for the 1936 Olympic Games and “a reinvigorated Reich” and was also broadcast on the radio.
Olympic bell then and now. swastika eagleThe bell then and now. From its original position in the Bell tower at the western end of the Reichs Sportfield planted amid the tiers of the Maifeld stands could be observed the whole city of Berlin. During the games, it was used as observation post by administrators and police officials, doctors and the media was the Olympic Bell. On its surface were the Olympic Rings with an eagle, the year 1936, the Brandenburg Gate, the date 1.-16. August and a motto between two swastikas: "I call the youth of the world" and "11. Olympic Games Berlin" - even though the Games constituted the 10th (Summer) Olympics, but the Games of the XI Olympiad. Bells had a special significance at the time, often placed on war memorials to commemorate dead soldiers or between 1934 and 1936 found a place on the bell towers of the three NS Ordensburgen - training centres for future Nazi Party leadership personnel. In the year of the Olympic Games in Berlin, Hans von Tschammer und Osten, the Reich Sports Leader and Commissioner and Chairman of the German Reich Association for Physical Exercise (DRL) and National Socialist Reich Association for Physical Exercise (NSRL) since 1933, the Olympic bell served as an "eternal reminder of the sacrificial death of our heroes" and as an "obligation" for the living. 
Olympic bell then and now. swastika eagleThe Bell Tower was the only part of the Reichssportfeld that was destroyed in the war. The Third Reich used the tower's structure to store archives such as films. Soviet troops set its contents on fire, turning the tower into a makeshift chimney. The structure emerged from the fire severely damaged and weakened. In 1947 British engineers demolished the tower, however eventually reconstructed it faithfully in 1962. The Olympic Bell (which had survived the fire and remained in its place in the tower) fell 77 metres and cracked and has been unable to sound since then. In 1956 the bell was rescued, only in order to be used as a practice target for shooting with anti-tank ammunition. The old bell survives to this day and serves now as a memorial, featuring an half-heartedly de-nazified swastika still...
A new Olympic bell made of steel weighing only 4 1/2 tonnes now hangs in the rebuilt bell tower. Like the original bell, it was cast by the Bochum Association for Cast Steel Fabrication. It is decorated with representations of the state eagle and the Brandenburg Gate and bears the text "Olympic Games 1936" and "I call the youth of the world" at the bottom in connection with the Olympic rings . The bell produces the percussion tone fi sharp o.
As a growing China increasingly becomes emboldened in its attack on basic human rights, its architecture reflects ideas from another totalitarian regime as shown here on Chunxiu Road in Peking where this building with its twin columns and circular building was directly inspired by the Berlin stadium. In fact, the totalitarian Chinese regime specifically chose Albert Speer Jr. to design the plan for access to the Olympics complex, focusing on the construction of an imposing avenue, which connects the Forbidden City and the National Stadium, aka Bird’s Nest.
“His Beijing axis is reawakening old memories,” declared Die Welt. “Wasn’t there a legendary... north-south axis, planned by the elder Speer for Hitler’s new Berlin? Is his son to copy him or rather outdo him?”“I think it is fascinating that the son of a Nazi is rebuilding Beijing. Chinese people probably don’t know it, but Hitler was actually a great artist and his architectural vision for Berlin immense,” said Mi You, a 24-year-old architecture student.
Fittingly, he was part of the architectural firm involved in the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup. As with the other children of Nazi officials, such as Gudrun Himmler and Edda Göring, Speer had to approach the topic of his father's infamy. However, whilst Himmler would attempt to rehabilitate her father's image, and Göring tried her best to avoid speaking about it at all, Speer said that he "tried his whole life to separate himself from his father". He is credited with being one of the few children of Nazi leaders to recognise the wrongs of his parent. Speer said that, as a child, his father "was not the kind of father who went over your homework", referring to inattentiveness and mild neglect, but also said that Hitler was "a nice uncle, from my childish perspective." He said he did not hate his father and considered him "a good architect, much more modern than people think today". Indeed, after officials announced in late March that Speer, Jr.,’s firm was involved in planning a new stadium for Berlin’s Hertha B.S.C. football team, a local tabloid pointed out that his father had worked on the team’s current stadium, which was built for Hitler’s 1936 Olympics.
Both countries posed a growing military threat, seeking world domination. China is expanding its military and economic presence with eyes on Taiwan. It has known human-rights abuses, including genocide of the Uyghurs and other international violations such as its open betrayal of the treaty with Britain promising respect for Hong Kong's freedoms enshrined by its British-sponsored constitution. As in 1936, the Olympics afforded China the world stage to show off superpower status as today we wait for China to invade a peaceful, democratic Taiwan having watched IOC-backed Russia launch its Nazi-inspired invasion of Ukraine which voluntarily (if foolishly) disarmed itself of the third-largest arsenal of nuclear weapons.
1936 athlete's dining hall at the Olympic village. Hitler himself oversaw the construction of the Olympic village in Wustermark The athlete's dining hall at the Olympic village. Hitler himself oversaw the construction of the Olympic village in Wustermark which he dubbed the “village of peace,” located on the outskirts of Berlin. Now dilapidated, the complex consisted of a reception building, about 140 one-storey and 5 two-storey residential buildings, a large dining house, a kitchen house, the Hindenburg house, the commander's house, a sports hall, a swimming pool, a sauna and a doctor's and hospital. The dining house had 38 dining rooms, each reserved for specific nations. The evening entertainment events organised by the management of the Nazi cultural community took place in the Hindenburghaus. These included reports on the Olympic Games, film newsreels, feature films, sports films, cabaret, concerts, ballet and cultural films. included state-of-the-art dormitories, dining areas, training facilities, a swimming pool, and hosted roughly four thousand athletes in luxury accommodation. The resulting layout resembled a traditional German village and each hut was named after a German town. After the Games the German Wehrmacht used the site of the Olympic Village. After the war it was converted into a Soviet barracks area that became a Cold War KGB torture camp and which are being turned into upmarket homes.
The prologue to the film Olympia, the 1938 film by Leni Riefenstahl documenting the 1936 Summer Olympics. She briefly appears here, uncredited, as the nude dancer). The movie was produced in two parts: Olympia 1. Teil — Fest der Völker (Festival of the People) and Olympia 2. Teil — Fest der Schönheit (Festival of Beauty). It was the first documentary film on the Olympic Games ever made. Many advanced motion picture techniques, which later became industry standards but which were groundbreaking at the time, were employed, including unusual camera angles, smash cuts, extreme close-ups, setting the railway tracks on the stadium to shoot the crowd and the like. The techniques employed are almost universally admired, but the film is controversial due to its political content. Nevertheless, the film appears on many lists of the greatest films of all-time, including Time magazine's "All-Time 100 Movies." Of course there has considerable argument as to whether this film should be considered Nazi propaganda like her earlier Triumph of the Will. On the right is the Munich Glyptothek's Barberini Faun as shown in the prologue and as it apears today.
Traces of Evil Olympia
Whilst the entire 1936 Olympics has been derided as the "Hitler Olympics" and was unquestionably designed primarily to showcase the accomplishments of the Third Reich, and to this extent any film accurately documenting the proceedings would come off as something of a propaganda film, Riefenstahl's defenders have pointed to her close-up shot of the expression on Hitler's face when Jesse Owens, an African-American, won a gold medal, as showing a tacit dissent from Nazi racial supremacy doctrines. Other non-Aryan winners are featured as well. Noted American film critic Richard Corliss observed in Time that

The matter of Riefenstahl 'the Nazi director' is worth raising so it can be dismissed. [I]n the hallucinatory documentary Triumph of the Will... [she] painted Adolf Hitler as a Wagnerian deity... But that was in 1934–35. In [Olympia] Riefenstahl gave the same heroic treatment to Jesse Owens...
Dietrich-Eckart-Bühne Now renamed the Waldbühne
Now renamed the Waldbühne (Forest Stage), this was intended as an amphitheatre that was designed by German architect Werner March in emulation of a Greek theatre and built between 1934 and 1936 as the Dietrich-Eckart-Bühne, a Nazi Thingplatz, and opened in association with the 1936 Summer Olympics. The theatre was built as part of the Olympic complex on the request of Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. March made use of a natural ravine and modelled the theatre on ancient Greek amphitheatres. The theatre opened on August 2, 1936, the day after the opening of the games, with the première of Eberhard Wolfgang Möller's Frankenburger Würfelspiel. 20,000 people were in attendance, and the Reich Labour Service supplied 1,200 extras. It was also used for some events of the games, in particular boxing matches. During the Olympics and later, dance and choral movement productions took place there, in addition to operas: during the Olympics and again in 1937 for the celebration of the 700th anniversary of the founding of Berlin, Handel's Hercules; also in 1937, Gluck's Orfeo; and in 1939, a production of Wagner's Rienzi paid for and co-designed by Hitler in association with Benno von Arent.
The complex on July 9, 1941.
The so-called Thingspiel celebrations were theatrical events modelled on earlier lay productions and written in great numbers by Nazi authors after 1933. Again the aspect of monumentality plays a major role. The Dietrich Eckart stage in Berlin held 20,000 spectators, and the event by which it was consecrated, 'The Frankenburger Wurfelspiel', had some 1,200 participants. The architectural model for the Thingspiel was the circular Greek cult theatre, but the stage area was almost always divided into three levels, corresponding to the three stages of the Passion plays of the Middle Ages. These three levels denoted three levels of meaning. The lowest level, the arena, was the entrance field of the common people - the spectators. On the second level stood the worldly powers and sovereigns. On the highest level ruled the 'law': 'The highest level . . . is embodied in seven judges, the power of true might, the voice of the people, and the expression of that which we Germans conceive of as the Fuhrer.' The common people constituted the community of the celebration acclaiming the Fuhrer. their integration into the events was attempted by having the cast stream through the ranks of the spectators towards the stage, just as occurred at Nuremberg.  
Simon Taylor
Dietrich-Eckart-Bühne Now renamed the Waldbühne
It wasn't until the summer of 1934 that proposals were made to artistically decorate the Olympic buildings. It began with an open competition for the plastic design of the entrance pillars of the Dietrich-Eckart-Bühne. In February 1935, the jury's first two prizes went to sculptors who were relatively unknown at the time: Konstantin Frick and Josef Walz. Drafts from other artists were purchased and some were later given commissions such as Breker and Lörcher. The magazine "Kunstkammer", the bulletin of the Reich Chamber of Fine Arts, devoted a whole page to the publication of the competition designs. The Art Committee, which met for the first time on March 7, 1935, rejected the earlier decision. “Examination of the documents requested from the award winners and artists considering purchases about their overall work shows that the 1st and 2nd prize winners Frick and Walz are not up to the demands to be made.
Nazi statues todayNotable talents are Brecker (sp), Wamper, Lörcher, Hahn, Fiedler and also Brachert, about whom Hoenig still wants to do certain investigations. For the two entrance pillars, Wamper from Münster is primarily suggested by the art committee, which, however, has to work out a new solution... Wamper is to be called to Berlin immediately for more detailed discussion." The minutes of the second meeting of July 5, 1935 stated: “The drafts by Wamper were basically approved by the committee, but the relief should be kept flatter and the figures on the left-hand pillar smaller, so that there is still space above the heads in particular remains. The proposed amendments are to be submitted within 14 days for submission to Reich Minister Dr. Goebbels." These sculptures were financed by the Ministry of Propaganda, which is why Goebbels had to give his place. The two reliefs refer "to the dual purpose of the complex for musical consecration play and patriotic celebration" (March 1936). Nazi statues todayThe latter is represented by two men with swords and torches, precursors of Breker's statues in the Reich Chancellery. It is striking that in this work, which was supervised by the Propaganda Ministry, a dedicated Nazi content can be seen, unlike most of the other examples.With the intent of showing the kinship between ancient Greek and Germanic culture, the entrance is flanked by two pairs of reliefs by Adolf Wamper-  Vaterländische Feier and Künstlerische Feier shown here in 1935 and as they appear today. The one on the left, representing the "Fatherland" has two male nudes, one with a sword, the other with a spear, a pairing that was to be used more famously by Arno Breker; and on the right, representing artistic celebration, two female nudes, one with a laurel wreath, the other with a lyre. The arena, the Maifeld field, and the Olympic stadium itself were designed to be used together for large events, and March also provided an indoor arena in the nearby Haus des deutschen Sports that has been regarded as a smaller equivalent of the Dietrich Eckart theatre.   
Haus des Deutschen Sports
Haus des Deutschen Sports with the Nazi flag flying atop and today.
The Haus des Deutschen Sports with the Nazi flag flying atop and today. 
A pair of massive buildings with clear lines arranged symmetrically around a swimming pool and a large inner courtyard (Jahnplatz) were built consisting of the indoor swimming pool and the swimming pool house in the north and the large gymnasium and the gymnasium in the south. Both building ensembles are attached to the "House of German Sports", which was completed in 1936 and is known for its architecturally striking domed hall. The Friesenhof named after Friedrich Friesen adjoins this central building complex in the north-east. During the 1936 Olympic Games, fencing competitions were held in the dome hall and in front of the House of German Sports. In addition to the two eagles sitting atop columns in front, a Nazi eagle remains situated on a stone pillar nearby, shown on the right:
The House of German Sports has been built on the Reichssportfeld. It provides accommodation for the executive and its administrative organs. It is surrounded by buildings and grounds where the sporting and athletic life of Berlin manifests itself. Everyone whose duty it is to act in an organising and administrative capacity can watch the games from his office window. He can no longer shut himself off from these realities, but is bound to identify himself with them. Such intimate contact is of very considerable value, and I expect that highly beneficial results will follow from it. The "organising official" must see all that is going on in the sports grounds, but must himself be seen as little as possible. 
Hans von Tschammer und Osten, Reich Sports Leader from Germany Speaks (1938)
In the last years of the war, the Paul Nipkow television station produced programmes in the cupola hall until 1944, after the studio in the Deutschlandhaus on what is today 's Theodor-Heuss-Platz was no longer usable after bomb damage. Parts of the Sportforum were destroyed during the bombing. After Germany was defeated, the Olympic site was taken over by the British military administration and used for sporting and recreational purposes by British military personnel. In 1952, the headquarters of the British military administration was relocated from Fehrbelliner Platz to the Sportforum site and, after the occupation troops had left on September 30, 1994, was handed over to the state of Berlin for use.
rno Breker's Zehnkämpfer (Decathlete)At the entrance to the House of German Sports there are two eagle sculptures by Waldemar Raemisch, at the outside staircase from Jahnplatz the decathlete and the winner by Arno Breker, at the forum pool the resting athlete by Georg Kolbe and in the entrance hall of the House of German Sports Kolbe's decathlon man. At the entrance to Jahnplatz there are bulls and cows by Adolf Strübe. Josef Thorak 's Boxer is a little off on the Anger. Arno Breker's Zehnkämpfer (Decathlete), and Siegerin (Victor) continue to stand in the front of the building in the Pfeilerhalle (Pillar-hall). Breker had taken part in the competition for the pillars of the open-air stage and attracted attention there for which he would win a silver medal at the 1936 Olympic art competition. In the minutes of the first meeting of the Art Committee on March 7, 1935, it was noted that "Brecker, a figurative sculptor of a more realistic nature, is to be considered for the two large figures at the House of German Sports". The artist's name was misspelled; he was hardly known at the time. The "realistic style" of the sculptor was nevertheless repeatedly criticised in the following sessions. Of Siegerin in one review from July 5, 1935 it was complained how "[t]he large female figure should be a little tighter in contour" In addition, the next meeting of December 17 detailed dissatisfaction because "the new proposals were visibly being developed too closely based on natural models, that the too soft and indefinite treatment of the contours criticised in the first proposals had not yet achieved the desired stricter guidance in addition to the strict architecture.” rno Breker's Zehnkämpfer (Decathlete), and Siegerin (Victor)Whilst Breker's memoirs do not contain any criticism of his designs, he does emphasise Hitler's admiration of the large statues that laid the foundation for his career in the Third Reich in Paris, Hitler et moi. Breker had two athletes as models for his figures, a javelin thrower for the "victor" and for the "decathlete" Gustav Stührk, who had been recommended by Carl Diem as the "best proportioned, most accomplished athlete" according to Breker himself. 
Die Siegerin, or more likely the plaster model, stood also in the Reichskanzlei in the ‘Verbindungshallen im Westlichen Verwaltungsbau; it was also displayed in the International Pavilion of  the World Exhibition, 1937, in Paris. These two statues provide examples of how the Nazis decided to orientate their state style towards antiquity as Breker's reference to ancient Greek sculptures met these aspirations. The Nazis saw the aesthetic ideals of their racial theory, the "healthy Aryan human type", symbolised in his figures. Breker's form of expression was proclaimed as a "designed attitude, a world view that had taken shape" and was trend-setting for the new German style. In retrospect, Breker himself described the year 1936 as the turning point in his existence. In the period that followed, he was appropriated by Nazi propaganda, stylised as the "most important contemporary German sculptor", even as a pioneer of the Nazi revolution, since his monumental figures seemed excellently suited to representing the New Reich's struggle against the signs of degenerate art and to make it visually comprehensible to society as a whole.
Georg Kolbe's Ruhende Athlet (Resting Athlete),
Georg Kolbe's Ruhende Athlet (Resting Athlete), shown then and now on the left.
 Kolbe submitted the draft for this work in the form of a small model to the art committee for the Olympic site in 1935. The relatively easy-going, relaxed attitude that distinguishes this work from all the other sculptures on the site led to criticism and discussions. The artist did not change his design, although the committee had made this a condition of execution. In a letter dated October 1, 1935 to Hilda Dirksen, the wife of the German ambassador in Japan, he wrote how "[t]oday I am sending you a photo of the large lying man that I took on behalf of the Prussian Ministry of Education for the local sports forum The figure is twice life-size. It's well done, it looks like something, it's certainly not dirt. But: it's not at all what you want out there." As with the Olympic bell mentioned above, the statue was buried by the British in 1947 on the Maifeld to protect non-ferrous metal thieves. 
The model for the statue was apparently someone named Hans Loewy whose identification was confirmed by three different contemporary witnesses; apparently  Loewy took his friends to the Olympic grounds with particular pride in order to demonstrate the magnificent figure for which he - according to the Nazi definition at the time, a 'half-Jew'- had posed as a model. Loewy managed to survive the Nazi period in hiding in Berlin.
Kolbe's Zehnkampfmann
Kolbe's Zehnkampfmann,
created in 1933 before the construction of the stadium and the completion of the sports forum. Kolbe first described him as simply a "figure for a sports forum". It is very likely that he imagined the "German Sports Forum" in the neighbourhood of which he lived and worked. The larger-than-life bronze was exhibited in 1934 at the Academy of Arts in Berlin and at the Venice Biennale, where, according to press reports, it is said to have made a great impression on Hitler. However, it failed to find a permanent place at first; in 1935 it was temporarily installed in the garden of the National Gallery. There is no information in the files about the negotiations on the integration of the “decathlon man” into the sculpture program of the Olympic site but a friend of Kolbe's remembered that the statue was dumped one night in front of the artist's front door. However, the bronze returned to the Olympic grounds. It appears to have been made more architecturally compatible by altering the plinth, transforming it from an irregular oval to a square as seen here in the current image. The model for the statue had been a former decathlete, Hermann Lemperle, who had taken part in the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam and had become German runner-up in the 1928 decathlon. After studying sports, he began studying art history in Berlin in 1932 and later worked as an assistant at Berlin University. In 1936, like many prominent athletes, he was involved in the Olympic relay race, which was held for the first time.

Heath's Bavarian International School students at Berlin Olympic Stadium
Entrance building of the Olympia-Stadion subway station, designed by Alfred Grenander and built for the 1936 Summer Olympics and my 2019 Bavarian International School cohort in front. In the run-up to the Olympic Games, the Stadion station was given the name Reichssportfeld . During these Olympic Games, the U-Bahn line A, together with the S-Bahn, handled traffic to the Olympic Stadium among other places. During the war, which began three years later the Reichssportfeld station was affected. On February 15, 1944, an air mine hit the entrance building and caused considerable damage. Nevertheless, the section of the subway line A in the direction of Ruhleben belonged to the subway lines that were relatively intact until operations ceased on April 25, 1945 at the latest. After the founding of the Federal Republic in 1949, the station was given the new name Olympia-Stadion on June 26, 1950.

Berlin 1939-1945 Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery
The next stop from the Olympia-Stadion subway station is at Pichelsberg which takes one to one of two Commonwealth cemeteries in Berlin, the other being the First World War Berlin South-Western Cemetery in Stahnsdorf, Brandenburg. This CWGC was established in 1945 as a central burial ground for aircrew and prisoners of war who were interred in the Berlin area and in East Germany. 
The British military cemetery on Heerstraße was built between 1955 and 1957 to replace the British military cemetery on Trakehner Allee that had been laid out a few years earlier and had to be closed in 1959. The site was intended for the erection of a television tower, which ultimately did not take place. The new military cemetery was designed by architect Philip Dalton Hepworth on an area of ​​around 3.8 hectares; on the right when in 2013 when my students accompanied me surrounded by its 3,594 graves. Its design essentially corresponds to the pattern of other British military cemeteries, such as the British cemetery on the site of the Südwestkirchhof Stahnsdorf or the Commonwealth Cemetery of Honour in Cologne. Characteristic here are uniform, simple tombstones made of English Portland sandstone , the high cross with a bronze sword, the centrally placed memorial stone with a commemorative inscription reading Their name liveth for evermore,  and a well-groomed, short-cut lawn. The entrance area is made up of three arcades made of shell limestone with wrought-iron gates. Of the wartime burials, about 80% are aircrew, killed in action over Germany whilst the remainder are prisoners of war. I have another site dedicated to the CWGCs of Ypres and the Somme at Echoes of War.
There are also 260 burials from the post-war British Occupation Authorities staff, including my Great-Grandfather John Arthur Heath, shown on the left in a photograph dated "Malta 1914"; he's the tall one in the back second from right with the ciggie in his mouth. As one who fought against the Germans at the opening battle of the Somme, he was subsequently sent back to Blighty to recuperate, resulting in my Grandfather who experienced the Germans the second time around (who would eventually move to Canada with my father when it was feared the Mother Country would follow the Americans into Vietnam.) Five years after the defeat again of Germany, my Great-Grandfather would die in Berlin as a member of the British occupation forces charged with hunting down war criminals, rebuilding Germany's industry and dealing with displaced persons, all the while being forced to learn to live and work alongside the former enemy. In May 1949, the three western occupation zones were merged to form the Federal Republic of Germany whilst the Soviets followed suit in October 1949 with the establishment of the German Democratic Republic. It was soon after this that my Great-Grandfather died, working to preserve Germany's uncertain, precarious democracy. People like me may have voted for Brexit, but the thousands of British whose bodies remain buried in this country after trying to liberate Europe from German militarism and fascism during the wars and subsequent airlift, or whilst working to rebuild and establish freedom and democracy will always remain- even if Germans themselves chose to forget any such debt when asked for support during the Brexit negotiations.