Reception

The Empfangsgebäude was the largest (4,674 m2) building in the complex. It formed, as the name suggests; the reception area and access to the village. It was located next to the Berlin - Hamburg motorway. In the middle was the gatehouse, the central and only access to the village. A carillon was placed on the roof of this, which played the Olympia hymn composed by Richard Strauss every hour. It also graced the cover of the booklet Dorf des Friedens, published for the residents of the village.
 
There was a circular wing on both sides of the gate. In the west wing there were spaces for luggage, customs, laundry acceptance, telephone exchange, the athletes office and five stores. In the east wing was the reception hall, an office for the village commander, a Hoffmann-Retschlag restaurant with a terrace for visitors from outside the village and housing for staff. The most important space was the 'Halle der Nationen'. Here every participating country had a counter, and visitors were also allowed to come from outside, as the village itself was closed to outsiders. For example, they could call every house in the village and meet in the restaurant or the Halle der Nationen.


Each time the Olympic teams arrived in Berlin, the reception went according to a fixed ceremony. After arrival and greeting at the train station, a welcome speech followed at the Rotes Rathaus (town hall), after which people were taken to the Olympic village by buses. A welcome ceremony was held here at the Empfangsgebäude, with a speech from the village commander, flags and the anthem of the visiting country that was played by the village chapel. Then they went in a procession with the chapel, commander and other escorts to the houses where the athletes would stay and they were handed the keys.

 

In a bombing raid on April 20, 1945, the east wing was severely damaged. After the war, building material was used to renovate houses in the neighborhood. The remains were probably demolished around 1953. Remains of the tunnel under the highway remained visible until 2011, until they also disappeared during road works.

 

Photos on the right: cover of the booklet Dorf des Friedens, and menus of the restaurant.
Below: sectional drawing from the same booklet