Photo archive of Ernst Liesching

Short biography and photo archive

Ernst Liesching, 1918 | © BSB/Image Archive
Ernst Liesching, 1918 | © BSB/Image Archive

Originally coming from Stuttgart, the certified engineer Ernst Liesching (1882 – 1965) photographically documented his deployment as an officer with the telegraph troops in the First World War. After serving in the war, he was the director of the gas, water and electricity works of the city of Gelsenkirchen from 1919 to 1931. Subsequently, he acted as executive manager of a professional association.


From September 1915 to February 1916, Liesching took part in the Serbian campaign. He was deployed with the “Schwere Funkenstation”, the heavy radio station no. 37, an intelligence corps that accompanied the advance of the 11th army against Serbia and ensured that messages could be transmitted within the army using telecommunications equipment.


There are two photo albums that document his stay in Hungary, Serbia and North Macedonia. The images show scenes from everyday life, people, as well as towns and villages.


Album I  (digitized photo album):
Serbia and Macedonia between September 1915 and February 1916
Album II  (digitized photo album):
Serbia between September 1915 and February 1916


From the autumn of 1916 to September 1918, Liesching served on the front in Mesopotamia, a secondary theatre of the First World War. He was the head of the "Kaiserlich deutsche Funkerabteilung 151" ("Imperial German Radio Division 151"), which was assigned to the 6th Turkish Army and was stationed at the headquarters of the high command of the 6th army in Baghdad.


Almost 50 photographs were taken in Constantinople. Liesching spent several weeks there in transit and documented buildings and street scenes. Around 190 photos were taken in Iraq, where Liesching was stationed for almost two years. The images show the set-up of a radio station by German and Turkish soldiers, officers in their free time and the local population.


The archive comprises two photo albums with 209 and 158 glued-in photographs and 288 individual images (negatives, slides and prints). The archive was taken over from family ownership in the year 2005.


The cataloguing and digitization have been completed.


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Kraus, Eva: Ernst Liesching und seine Fotografien aus dem Ersten Weltkrieg. In: Bibliotheksmagazin 17 (2022), 2 p. 73-79.

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