February 22, 2020

German Historian who Invented 22 Holocaust Victims Found Dead at Age 31

Marie Sophie Hingst (Screenshot from YouTube)

German historian and blogger Marie Sophie Hingst, 31, who fabricated that 22 members of her family were Holocaust victims, was found dead in her apartment in Dublin on July 17, just weeks after her false claims were uncovered.

Police have not yet confirmed the cause of her death but said “there was no sign of third party involvement,” according to an article in The Jewish Chronicle.

Journalist Martin Doerry of Der Spiegel magazine published an article on June 6 uncovering Hingst’s story as completely made up. Doerry, a grandchild himself of a Holocaust survivor, wrote in his article, “Inventing Holocaust victims is essentially a mockery of all those who really were tortured and killed by the Nazis … This kind of con job may not be a crime per se, but it is nevertheless scandalous.”

Hingst reported the 22 names to Yad Vashem’s archives, but most of the people had no record of existence. Only three of the names were real, but none of them were Jewish nor murdered. The Israeli Holocaust museum announced in June that it would be removing Hingst’s submission from its Pages of Testimony.

Using her blog called “Read On My Dear, Read On,” which she started in 2013 and attracted nearly 240,000 readers, Hingst circulated her false claims to the public, regularly posting stories about her allegedly Jewish grandmother who survived Auschwitz.  Dedicated readers began to notice inconsistencies in her blogs, and she was later confronted by multiple journalists. 

Hingst, who received her Ph.D. from Trinity College in Dublin, even won the Golden Bloggers “Blogger of the Year” award in 2017, but it was revoked in June after her fabrication was revealed.

In an article published by the Irish Times on July 27, Hingst’s mother, Cornelia, said her daughter faced multiple therapists and struggled with mental illness for years.

Hingst will be buried in her hometown, Wittenburg, on July 31.