André Schwarz-Bart was a French novelist from a family of Polish-Jewish origin. In 1941, his parents and brothers were deported to Auschwitz. Soon after, Schwarz-Bart, who was only a young teenager and barely spoke French, joined the Resistance. Later he worked as a manual laborer and taught himself to read and write French from library books. His experiences as a Jew during the German Occupation of World War II informed his great work, considered one of the greatest books of the Holocaust, The Last of the Just (Le Dernier des justes, 1960). It follows a Jewish family from the time of the Crusades to the death camp of Auschwitz. Schwarz-Bart lived the final years of his life in Guadeloupe with his wife Simone.