Leon Werth is known French essayist and novelist, but best known for his art criticism.
Saint-Exupery met Werth in 1931, and soon he became the closest friend Saint-Exupery had outside
of his flying group of Aeropostale.
Werth had not much in common with Exupery, he was anarchist, and Jew, and left Bolshevik
supporter. Twenty-two years older then Exupery, with surrealistic writing style, author of
twelve volumes, and many magazine pieces, he was opposite of what Exupery was.
Saint Exupery dedicated two books to him (Letter to a Hostage, The Little Prince) and
referred Werth in three more. The dedication in the preface of The Little prince is one of the
most charming dedications ever written.
During the begging of World War II, while writing The Little Prince Exupery lived in
his apartment at downtown New York City, thinking about his France and his friends. Leon Werth
spent the war unobtrusively in Saint-Armour, where we "was alone, cold and hungry", without
many nice words about French refugees. Saint-Exupery returned to Europe in early 1943, "I
cannot bear to be far from those who are hungry ... I am leaving in order to suffer and thereby
be united with those who are dear to me."
At the end of World War II, which Antoine de Saint Exupery didn't live to see, Leon Werth said:
" Peace, without Tonio (Exupery) isn't entirely peace." Leon Werth did not see the text for
which he was so much responsible until five months after his friend's death, when Galimard sent
him a special edition.