German Blogger Accused of Inventing Family Who Perished in Holocaust Stripped of Prize

'Female Blogger of the Year 2017' Marie Sophie Hingst had written extensively about her Jewish family. Recent investigations reveal she made up such ancestry

Visitors look at photos of Jews killed in the Holocaust during a visit to the Hall of Names in the Holocaust History Museum at the Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, May 1, 2019.
Ronen Zvulun/Reuters

An award-winning German blogger who was accused of inventing a Jewish family history has been stripped of the title of "Female Blogger of the Year 2017" by a blogging network in Germany.

Marie Sophie Hingst, who lives in Ireland, is said to have made false statements about her descent both in her blog "Read on my dear, read on" and among the Yad Vashem Holocaust pages of testimony. 

"We've asked the author for a statement," the Goldene Blogger (Golden Bloggers) network said on Monday. "In light of current information we feel forced to withdraw the prize."

The move comes after a report in Germany's Spiegel news magazine, alleging that Hingst had invented a Jewish family history for herself.

Goldene Blogger said: "Furthermore we'll think over in the coming weeks what conclusions to draw for the future presentation of the Golden Bloggers."

Via a lawyer, the 31-year-old Hingst informed Spiegel that the her blog postings, unavailable at the weekend, "claimed a significant degree of artistic freedom." 

According to Spiegel's investigations, Hingst does not really have any close Jewish kinship, even though she repeatedly mentioned it on her blog and in lectures. 

In addition, Spiegel claimed she had submitted information on 22 alleged relatives to Yad Vashem, giving the impression that large parts of her family had been killed in the Holocaust

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