TODAY   |  November 02, 2013

Life after tragedy? Fletcher's book on Holocaust

“What’s it like the day after an incredible tragedy?” said Martin Fletcher, author of new book “Jacob’s Oath,” which follows two characters in the time after the Holocaust. TODAY’s Lester Holt interviews author Martin Fletcher.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> for nbc viewers this is the martin fletcher you know best reporting from all over the world. ?: these days his life is calmer and giving him plenty of time to devote his second work of fiction " jacob 's oath" is a story about love and revenge and recovery in a post world war ii germany . great to see you. good morning.

>> thank you for having me.

>> fiction writing has become your thing now. although]v somewhat like a historical narrative . but so much has been written about the holocaust. you pick up after the holocaust at the end of the war .

>> did that deliberately. so much fiction is written about the buildup to war that is the most exciting and dramatic period and the war itself and the holocaust. very little was written about the day after. what is it like the day after an incredible tragedy? so it's about what happened to two holocaust survivors after the holocaust, jews in germany , 1945 . for me as a reporter having covered these kind of horrific events not in the@'m holocaust but 14-? cars a wars and disasters that was the question what is it like to the people afterwards?

>> you answer a question came up in a conversation one of our colleagues here. why would jews return to germany after the holocaust? and, of course, as we read this narrative that you've put together of these two individuals, obviously, it's a very honorable choice on some levels that that he make.

>> yeah, you know, i didn't know what to write about and i was asked that question, why would jews return? i said that is a great question. why would they? i didn't have an answer. i spent a lot of time in germany and was searching that question. one interesting thing i found a number of german jews who lived in germany and went back after the camps but note?c!? one of them would talk to me. a lot of guilt associated with that.

>> the final character jacob comes back and finds the happily home is occupied that is a common experience.

>> both came to their homes and found them occupied by germans and one of the things about being a refuge. the most important thing you want to do is go home. go back. but there is no home.

>> jacob in the book, jacob 's oath=z correct?

>> yeah. the story is jacob was a concentration camp inmate. his brother was killed by a german guard and he swore revenge and swore in oath to kill the murderer. then he goes home and falls in love with another holocaust survivor . the whole issue of the book is what is more important? the past or the future or love or hate or love or revenge?

>> i know this reads like a history book as well. you write about these groups of jews who are out really seeking revenge against their former tormentors?

>> yeah. after world war ii two were british soldiers from palestine and came to germany and undercover secret group that assassinated. i bring the7 moment and the extraordinary devastation of germany right after the war and makes it all together with my story.

>> it's a wonderfully written book and i would expect no less. the book is? oath."