The London Olympics begin in just under a month and city officials already have a detailed plan for what will become of the new stadiums and villages post-Games. This stress on responsible development has been a hallmark of the modern games, but wasn't always the prevailing mindset.

On the western edge of Berlin sits the remains of the 1936 Olympic site, where Jesse Owens won four gold medals to the chagrin of noted race theorist, maniac and dictator Adolf Hitler. Though it was once the pride of Germany, the site has since fallen into disrepair.

One man is trying to save this piece of his country's fraught Olympic past from the historical scrapheap.

Sven Voege plans to rent out some of the former Village sites as exhibition spaces. Voege tells The Daily Mail that the historic site should not be lost forever in the shadow of Hitler and the horrible conflict that followed the games.

"It is a shame," says Voege. "Because it is inextricably bound up with Nazism, most Germans avoid it. It is a place that lives and breathes sportsmanship and history, side by side. But German history is something we shun because of our past."

These images, showing what remains of the 1936 Olympic site, including Jesse Owens' room, make a strong argument not only for planning ahead London-style, but for confronting the past in service of the future.

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  • Abandoned Olympic Village

    View of US athlete Jesse Owens' room in the 1936 Olympic village in Elstal, west of Berlin on May 5, 2008. The village, which housed over 4.000 athletes for the notorious 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, then under Nazi rule, was used as barracks for the German army shortly afterwards, and from 1945 as barracks for Russian officers, until the Russian army's final withdrawal in 1992. 73 years after Owens four gold medals as an offence to the Nazi regime, he still represents a role model to the Americain athletes, who are going to compete in the 2009 IAAF Athletics World Championships, taking place from August 15 to August 23, 2009.

  • Abandoned Olympic Village

    A bas-relief sculpture by German artist Walter von Ruckteschell (1882-1941) showing German army troops can be seen in the Hindenburghaus (Hindenburg building) where functions and cultural shows were staged in the 1936 Olympic village in Elstal, west of Berlin on May 5, 2008. The village, which housed over 4.000 athletes for the notorious 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, then under Nazi rule, was used as barracks for the German army shortly afterwards, and from 1945 as barracks for Russian officers, until the Russian army's final withdrawal in 1992.

  • Abandoned Olympic Village

    View of the amphitheatre in the Hindenburghaus (Hindenburg building) where functions and cultural shows were staged in the 1936 Olympic village in Elstal, west of Berlin on May 5, 2008. The village, which housed over 4.000 athletes for the notorious 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, then under Nazi rule, was used as barracks for the German army shortly afterwards, and from 1945 as barracks for Russian officers, until the Russian army's final withdrawal in 1992.

  • Abandoned Olympic Village

    View of single storey dormitory halls for athletes in the 1936 Olympic village in Elstal, west of Berlin on May 5, 2008. The village, which housed over 4.000 athletes for the notorious 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, then under Nazi rule, was used as barracks for the German army shortly afterwards, and from 1945 as barracks for Russian officers, until the Russian army's final withdrawal in 1992.

  • Abandoned Olympic Village

    View of the swimming pool in the 1936 Olympic village in Elstal, west of Berlin on May 5, 2008. The village, which housed over 4.000 athletes for the notorious 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, then under Nazi rule, was used as barracks for the German army shortly afterwards, and from 1945 as barracks for Russian officers, until the Russian army's final withdrawal in 1992.

  • Abandoned Olympic Village

    View of the House of Nations, which housed the many kitchens and dining halls in the 1936 Olympic village in Elstal, west of Berlin on May 5, 2008. The village, which housed over 4.000 athletes for the notorious 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, then under Nazi rule, was used as barracks for the German army shortly afterwards, and from 1945 as barracks for Russian officers, until the Russian army's final withdrawal in 1992.

  • Abandoned Olympic Village

    A man walks past a set of Olympic rings in the gymnasium hall of the 1936 Olympic village in Elstal, west of Berlin on May 5, 2008.