Missing Photographs: Marx Brothers, Mark Clark and ‘Woodchoppers’

Mark Clark, Allied commander in Italy during World War II. Babe wrote of one of the enclosed photographs, "I have duplicated (Clark's) pose as near as possible, but the stars are still lacking."

Dated April 4, 1944; possibly postmarked April 8, but it is difficult to read.

Dear Folks,

I am well, happy and safe and I hope you all are the same.

Of course, the first thing that will attract your attention is the pictures. You must remember that these pictures were taken under adverse conditions and that a few Italians came in selling eggs and nuts. Now we got the eggs and nuts.

To get back to the pictures, you’ve undoubtedly seen the Marx Brothers. In picture No. one, you are looking at three of their brothers’ doubles. I know you’ve seen the original brothers in more comical poses, but only on rare occasions could we manage a more distressed appearance.

Now study picture number two and you have the last step of “The Tired Woodchoppers Ballet,” a truly magnificent piece.

Thus we come to picture number three. If you have never seen Lt. General Mark Clark, you are now admiring his picture. I have duplicated his pose as near as possible, but the stars are still lacking.

Picture number four represents the end of a hard working day. Notice the drop of the shoulders and the relaxed feet.

No. 5 calls for no comment whatsoever.

The camera used was about twenty five or thirty years old and it looked as if it would fall apart any minute. He used no film, but used ordinary print paper instead, then when he developed that picture, he took another picture of the picture and these are what came out.

The white paper is German Agfa paper and the yellow one is Italian paper.

Some more Italians came in with more eggs, which we gently deprived them of. Outside of the family I told you about before, I don’t believe there is another family in Italy where at least one of the family is out to gyp all they can out of the soldiers. Outside of gyping all the Italians we catch, we are peaceful, law-abiding citizens.

That’s all for now, folks.

Love & Kisses,

Babe

PDF: Missing Photographs: Marx Brothers, Mark Clark and ‘Woodchoppers’

 

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