Preliminary Inventory to the Walter L. Leschander Collection, 1938-1965

Processed by The Hoover Institution staff; machine-readable finding aid created by Erin NhaMinerva
Hoover Institution Archives
Stanford University
Stanford, California 94305-6010
Phone: (650) 723-3563
Fax: (650) 725-3445
© 2000
Hoover Institution Archives. All rights reserved.

Preliminary Inventory to the Walter L. Leschander Collection, 1938-1965

Hoover Institution Archives

Stanford University

Stanford, California

Contact Information

  • Hoover Institution Archives
  • Stanford University
  • Stanford, California 94305-6010
  • Phone: (650) 723-3563
  • Fax: (650) 725-3445
  • Email:
Processed by:
The Hoover Institution staff
Encoded by:
Erin NhaMinerva
© 2000 Hoover Institution Archives. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Walter L. Leschander Collection,
Date (inclusive): 1938-1965
Collection number: 66023
Collector: Leschander, Walter L., collector.
Collection Size: 9 manuscript boxes. (3.8 linear feet)
Repository: Hoover Institution Archives
Stanford, California 94305-6010
Abstract: Writings, diary, correspondence, photographs, maps, clippings, and pamphlets, relating to espionage, military intelligence, prisoners of war, and escape techniques, primarily during World War II.
Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
Language: English.

Administrative Information


Collection open for research.

Publication Rights

For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Walter L. Leschander Collection, [Box no.], Hoover Institution Archives.

Access Points

Best, Sigismung Payne.
Blum, Léon, 1872-1950.
Hitler, Adolf, 1889-1945.
World War, 1939-1945.
World War, 1939-1945--Netherlands.
World War, 1939-1945--Prisoners and prisons.
World War, 1939-1945--Secret service.
Great Britain.
Netherlands--History--German occupation, 1940-1945.

Container List

Box 1.

Venlo Incident


1. Dutch Government inquiry into the Venlo incident. Translations made by Captain Best, his comments added in red. Index


1a. Mate to globe which held 1st atom bomb and kick-off switch for boosters on planes from Doolittle's raid on Tokyo

Box 2.

2. Original manuscript of Captain Payne Best: The Venlo Incident (2 parts)


3. Annotated and inscribed copy of book The Venlo Incident


4. Payne Best's prison diary, 1938-1942


5. Walter L. Leschander's research notes on Venlo incident and Captain Best's answers to his questions

Box 3.

6. Scrapbook "General van Oorschot." Correspondence between Best and Oorschot on events preceding the Venlo incident, the assignment of a Dutch officer to Best and Stevens, Oorschot's testimony before the Dutch Commission of Inquiry, letters of Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands to Best, 1948


7. Scrapbook "Lt. Col. R. H. Stevens." Postwar correspondence between Best and Stevens. Also included are originals of prison letters sent by Stevens to Best, on tiny sheets of paper or cardboard, copies transcribed on typewriter


8. Scrapbook "Venlo Holland." Newspaper clippings, photographs, correspondence dealing with the Venlo incident, including pictures of Best


9. Postwar newspaper clipping on Captain Best and review of the book The Venlo Incident

Box 4.

Colditz Castle prison


10. Scrapbook "Colditz Castle," containing photographs (identified,) some correspondence, some follow-ups on survivors of Colditz including a man living in Watts, Los Angeles, whose store was burned in the August 1964 riots


11. File of correspondence and manuscripts: Leschander-Dr. Reinhold Eggers, author of story on Colditz prison


12. Colditz file; escape story of Lt. J. E. R. Wood as told to Leschander

Box 5.

Payne Best


13. Tape transcriptions. Best's memoirs, occasionally going back to World War I


14. Clippings and duplicates of tape transcriptions


15. Four rolls of tape - Miscellaneous material (including Best's authorization to use material)

Box 6.

16. Leschander-Clayton Hutton escape devices (gadgets)


17. Leschander-Halder correspondence, 1962-1965


18. Manuscripts by Walter Leschander: "A Chicken Saved Verdun; "Hitler's Fake Bomb Plot; "What Price Treason"; untitled manuscript detailing Leschander's researches


19. Miscellaneous correspondence, 1959-1966

Box 7.



20. Lecture given in January 1951 by Captain Payne Best "The Other Man" manuscript


21. Legal proceedings, 1951, against concentration camp guard Edgar Stiller. Best, who knew him, tried to interest survivors of the last days of the camp, including Franz Halder, to give testimony in favor of Stiller


22. Story "I Was Hanged by the Nazis" by Ronald Seth (various manuscript versions)


23. Essay by Erich Gimpel, a World War II German spy caught in the United States


24. Pess clippings on Gordon Lonsdale case, 1961


25. Liberation in the South Tyrolese Dolomites


26. Payne Best - Léon Blum correspondence, 1945-1947


27. Scrapbook, "Germany East-West Frontier, 1963 (contains mounted photographs, identified)


28. Accession books for Leschander book collection, nos. 1 and 2

Box 8.

Additional material


1. Maps (large scale) of Germany issued by the British War Office and U.S. Army Map Service, 1944, and revisions


2. Photographs (official U.S. Army photos) of marines in China, Tarawa, Pearl Harbor, Atomic bomb, Japanese surrender, German atrocities


3. Royal Air Force Escaping Society

Physical Description: (2 pamphlets)

4. Siege of Tobruk, 1941 April-December - cartography and history

Physical Description: (1 map, annotated)

5. Photographic reproductions of the Zeppelin L49 that was forced to land . . . by French aviators, 1917 October 20

Physical Description: (1 envelope)
Box 9.

Letters and comments to and from Captain Sigismund Payne Best of a confidential nature pertaining to the people and events surrounding the Venlo Incident