German historian who made up WWII Holocaust survivors found dead in DublinHistorians in the News
tags: Holocaust, historian
Marie Sophie Hingst, 31, had run a popular blog detailing what appeared to be the stories of her ancestors who had been victims of the Holocaust. She faced public backlash and was stripped of a Golden Blogger award when German magazine Der Spiegel published a story revealing she had allegedly fabricated her Jewish ancestry and Holocaust history.
The cause of her death has not been released, but Garda (police) said no foul play was suspected.
Since receiving her history doctoral degree from Trinity College Dublin, Hingst had been working for Intel in Ireland. She had run her blog, “Read on My Dear, Read On,” for years, detailing the struggles of her ancestors during Kristallnacht and in the Auschwitz concentration camp. Beginning in 2013, she submitted 22 pages of testimony to Israel's Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem.
Most of the paperwork was filled in by hand and, as Der Spiegel revealed, concerned people who had never existed. A historian the publication worked with deduced that three of the 22 were real ancestors of Hingst's, but that they had been Protestant.
Hingst, they reported, had "moderated panel discussions for the Association for the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, [worked] for the Selma Stern Center for Jewish Studies Berlin-Brandenburg and she became involved in the Jewish Society at Trinity College." In 2018, she had won a writing prize from Ireland's Financial Times.
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