Athletes homes

There were 141 homes for athletes and their caregivers, five of them with two floors. These had eight to twelve bedrooms for two people, a room for the steward at the entrance, bathroom with shower, and very special for that time; a phone. At the end of the building there was a 'Gemeinschaftsraum', or the living room. Each house was given a name named after a German city, and the coat of arms or emblem of that city was visible next to the entrance. In addition to being a promotion for Germany, it was also easier for athletes to find their accommodation there. 


The theme also came back in the living room, where murals of the place concerned were applied, in the photos that were hung up and on the bedding and towels. The cities in question were asked to bear the costs of this, and/or to supply the material mentioned.

As far as the Dutch are concerned, the distribution was according to the Venlo newspaper of July 29, 1936: "21 cyclists plus the Dutch cook are staying in the house" Neustadt ", two cyclists and 16 athletes and four five-campers are housed in" Kaisers Lautern ", 11 boxers and 11 swimmers were able to live in "Baden Baden", 13 fencers, 7 swimmers and Dr. Van Daal in "Constanz" and finally the 19 hockey players and the chief of mission, Mr. Lotsy, stayed in "Freiburg" in the coming days 108 Dutch people will live in the Olympic village. "

They were very pleased with the care. This was reflected in large matters, such as a steward per cottage who provided all kind of services, but also in the smaller cases. On August 26, 1936, for example, what we would now call an Advertorial, the newspaper Graafschapbode writes: Perhaps it is known that every group that participated in the Olympic Games had its own cook. He ensured that the prescribed diet was strictly followed. But it is less well known that the concerns of the Olympic Committee for the prosperity of the participants even extended to the type of soap used in the Olympic village! Great care has been taken by choosing a soap that does not irritate the skin but keeps it fresh and supple. As is well known during the Greek Olympiad, the athletes were massaged with olive oil. And so every inhabitant of the Olympic village found a piece of Palmolive soap in his cabin, in which a large quantity of olive oil was incorporated. In a time where taking showers of bathing was less common than now, it sure was a pleasant luxory!

Of course there also had to be medical care. There were constant medical staff present. Five doctors and 40 nurses ran their services. Haus Hanau was their post. Not only could they perform minor surgery, they also monitored hygiene in the kitchen, swimming pool and other facilities.

After the war, most of the houses were demolished by the Russians. There are still 20 homes left in different states of decline in 2019, one of which has been set up as a museum and furbished like it was in 1936.

Below: the Egyptian basketball player Mohamed Rashad Shafshak with supervisors from the 'Ehrendienst'. 185 boys and 70 girls were appointed to accompany the athletes. They guide them in the village and town, during training and were said to be highly motivated and appreciated.

The Canadian cyclists do repairs in front of their house. Olympia Zeitung number 9, July 29, 1936

Photos on the right: these certificates could be found in every room of the houses as a welcome for the athletes. Of course in their own language. On the photo a Swedish, Arabic and Dutch copy. (In total 28 languages were printed)