German historian Marie Sophie Hingst, famous for her blog about family members who perished in the Holocaust, has been caught in a lie. The revelation also put the media, which published her other ‘personal stories’, in a bind.
Hingst, who lives in Dublin, rose to prominence because of her stories about her alleged Jewish ancestors, who tragically died in the times of the Holocaust. These were published on her blog ‘Read on my dear, read on’ (now offline), which she started back in 2013 in Dublin. The blog featured accounts of her grandfather in particular, who she said was killed in the Nazi death camp Auschwitz.
Her exploits did not go unnoticed as, at some point, her blog reached a whopping 240,000 readers while she was named‘blogger of the year’ and awarded by the Golden Bloggers association – the group behind one of the major German social media influencers’ awards.
Hingst was also invited to moderate panel discussions for the association of patrons of the Berlin Holocaust Memorial and frequently spoke on behalf of relatives of the Holocaust victims, according to the German press.
However, her stories which awoke such an echo in her readers’ hearts turned out to be completely made up, as a group of archivists from the German town of Stralsund demonstrated. Hingst indeed mentioned Stralsund as the home town of her family – and rightly so. The town archivists, who were alerted by another German historian about the inaccuracies in her blog posts, found out, though, that her grandfather had never been sent to Auschwitz and was not even a Jew.
He was a Protestant pastor and his wife was a dentist and also a follower of Protestantism, according to Der Spiegel weekly, which was the first to break the story. Actually, none of her relatives were victims of the Holocaust, according to the German media.