After the games
After the last teams from Brazil, China, Chile and Uruguay had left on August 20, 1936, the village got its second destination; barracks and military hospital.
From December 1936, the new residents of the 'most beautiful barracks of the world' , as it was called, were an infantry school and the 1.Bataillion of the Infantry training school. The staff used the reception building, the main hall of which became the officer's mess, the infantry school used the Hindenburghaus. The restaurant became the Olympialazarett, the sporter's houses were taken into use by the hospital staff, the soldiers and participants in various training courses. Not much can be said about the Wehrmacht period, it was the usual course of events as in most barracks and hospitals. Soldiers were trained, patients healed .
There was another important moment in the war in which the village played a minor role. On July 20, 1944, an assination on Hitler and his staff took place in the Fuhrerhauptquartier in East-Prussia. This was part of a larger plan; a coup d'etat by the German resistance and piece negotiantions with the Allied powers. A unit of the infantry school occupied the Funkhaus (broadcast station) on the Masurenallee in Berlin. Radio broadcasts were provided from here, and were therefore an important medium for the old and new government. Major Jakob's job was to stop the radio broadcasts, but he lacked technical knowledge. As a result, the broadcasts continued as usual. And so this small but oh so important part of the coup failed, just like the coup itself. Unfortunately, because if the war could have ended at that time, it might have saved millions of deaths.
Although nearby Berlin was bombed countless times and was also shot at by artillery in the last phase of the war, the war violence had largely ignored the village. Still, on April 20, 1945, drew-offs from an Allied bombing on the nearby marshalling yard Wüstermark caused damage. Some houses and the east wing of the reception building were badly damaged.
From April 1945 it was clearly noticeable in the hospital that the final battle for Berlin was going on; many wounded found their way to the Olympialazarett.
After the German capitulation, German refugees and people who had lost their homes in the bombing and battle of Berlin found temporary accommodation in the village. The Russian occupier also used it as a place to live, but only in 1947 did they officially take it over. The last refugees left the village in 1949, after which Russian officers and their families came to live there. 121 of the 141 houses were demolished in the 70s and 80s. Instead came the well-known GDR Plattenbau; ugly flats. Nowadays, only the hull is left of these flats. A number of them will be demolished, some of them may be made suitable for habitation. The Russians also built a number of new buildings, such as a cafe. This is now also demolished.
After the wall fell in 1989, a lot changed in Germany. Soldiers who have nothing to do, are uncertain about their future, and have vodka within reach, sometimes want to demolish something out of frustration. So that also happened regularly. Eventually the Russians left the complex in 1991/92
In 1993 the area received a protected monument status. But under which municipality the Olympic village and area of the military training grounds at Döberitz actually fell remained a dispute for a long time. Finally it was decided in 1996 that it belonged to the municipality of Elstal. The terrain was a chaos with vehicles wrecks and all kinds of Russian remains. Hardly any maintenance had been done in recent decades. From 1994 onwards the site was cleaned up and most of the furnishings were removed from the buildings. (and unfortunately disappeared) In 2000 the land was sold to a subsidiary of the DKB bank. In the meantime, the buildings increasingly decayed and fell victim to vandalism, such as arson on the roof of the swimming pool and metal gutters and railings in other buildings that were stolen.
Fortunately, the DKB took care of the site, carried out necessary maintenance and made it accessible to visitors during guided tours.
As with all buildings, vacancy is decline. The best way to preserve monuments is to give it a function. The site of the Olympic Dorf is therefore perfect for redevelopment - not too far from expensive Berlin and in a natural environment. That is what now takes place. The symbolic first spade for a major project to breathe new life into the site was buried in July 2017. The aim is to renovate the Speisehaus der Nationen into 115 homes. Afterwards, another 350 homes will be built on the location of the sports houses demolished by the Russians. Those who still want to see the village in its current state have to hurry. In a few years it will look different.
Source 20 juli: Staatsstreiche in historischer und kriminologischer Sicht, Wolf Misddendorf, de Gruyter, Berlin 1988