Historian stripped of award after being accused of inventing Jewish family members who died in the Shoah

Marie Sophie Hingst was named blogger of the year for her work describing the supposed fate of her grandmother's family


A German historian has been stripped of a writing award after she was accused of inventing Jewish family members who supposedly died in the Holocaust.

Marie Sophie Hingst, who lives in Ireland, wrote a blog called "Read on my dear, read" about how her grandmother's family was all but wiped out in the Shoah. She even travelled to Israel to register 22 relatives whose deaths she claimed to have confirmed.

Dr Hingst, 31, was named blogger of the year in the country's Golden Blogger awards in 2017. But organisers have now withdrawn this after another academic researched her claims and found discrepancies.

Genealogist Dr Gabriele Bergner established Dr Hingst's grandmother was a Christian and was married to a pastor. Dr Bergner also claimed at least six of those whose deaths Dr Hingst regisered at Yad Vashem did not exist. 

She also said Auschwitz was not taking prisoners from Germany in 1940, when Dr Hingst claimed her great-grandparents were sent there.

Dr Hingst claimed her great-grandfather Hermann Hingst and his wife Marie were murdered by the Nazis but Hermann Hingst was apparently still alive in 1947.

She claimed another set of great-parents died at Auschwitz alongside their four daughters, leaving Dr Hingst's grandmother as the sole survivor of the family.

Such was Dr Hingst's renown that she began writing for German newspaper Die Zeit and chaired Holocaust events.

A statement from The Golden Bloggers said, in addition to stripping the award: "We'll think over in the coming weeks what conclusions to draw for the future presentation of the Golden Bloggers."

Yad Vashem said in a statement: "The submissions of Marie Sophie Hingst have been given to Yad Vashem scholars for further investigation."

Dr Hingst's lawyer told magazine Der Spiegel that her blogs "claimed a significant degree of artistic freedom".

But he said she had not "spread untruths about her own family history in the framework of texts with real biographical data".

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive