Provenance: The Ohio Historical Society acquired the Russell W. Leist Audiovisual Collection as a gift of Russell W. Leist, Columbus, Ohio, in October 1973. Kathleen McIntyre processed the collection in November 1983.
Property rights: The Ohio Historical Society owns the property rights to this collection.
Copyrights: Russell W. Leist has dedicated such copyrights as he possesses in this collection to the public. Consideration of all other copyrights is the responsibility of the author and publisher.
Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the Ohio Historical Society.
Citation: Researchers are requested to cite collection name, collection number, and the Ohio Historical Society in all footnote and bibliographic references.
Biographical sketch: Russell W. Leist was an engineer in the U.S. Army 282nd and 168th combat engineer battalions. His battalion participated in the Battle of the Bulge, the assault crossings of the Rhine, and by May 1945, was in Zwickau, Germany, near the Czechoslovakian border. Leist and his battalion went to Belgium in the summer of 1945 and returned to the U.S. in October 1945.
Source: Conversation with Russell W. Leist, November 1983.
Scope and content: The Russell W. Leist Audiovisual Collection consists of 103 2-1/2" x 3-1/2" black and white photographs and fifty postcards, and occupies one-eighth cubic foot. The photographs, arranged chronologically, include pictures found by Leist in a house in Zwickau, Germany, and depict that country before its defeat by the Allies. Leist took the remaining snapshots from May 1945 to October 1945 while traveling throughout Europe.
Snapshots in folders two through four illustrate the ruins of the German cities of Zwickau, Cologne, Giessen, and Aachen. Folders five through nine contain photographs taken in Belgium and show army work details defusing bombs, a camp for German prisoners, materials used to build pontoon bridges, Leist's army buddies, and local citizens. Snapshots of a sight seeing trip to Antwerp are in folder ten. Camp Lucky Strike, an army camp in France; views of LeHavre, France; and a tug boat in Boston Harbor are depicted in folder eleven. Miscellaneous photos include two images of Leist, one as a company barber, and an unidentified highway (SC 4473).
The postcards include twenty-one sent by Gunther Schreck, a sailor in the German navy, and his family and friends in Weida, Germany. These postcards, probably found by Leist while he was in Germany, depict German towns and naval ships. Leist purchased the other postcards, showing views of Belgium, as souvenirs.