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May 15, 2014 7

“Jews Vs. Nazis” Drinking Game Controversy

An offen­sive new Holocaust-themed ver­sion of the pop­u­lar “beer pong” drink­ing game has become a sub­ject of intense dis­cus­sion online and in domes­tic and inter­na­tional media. The game, dubbed “Jews vs.Jews vs  Nazis beer pong drinking game Nazis,” is played by set­ting up two groups of cups, one in the shape of a swastika and the other in the shape of a Star of David.

While the game has report­edly been played across the coun­try in the last few years, the most recent instance came to light after a Twit­ter feed ded­i­cated to anony­mous high school con­fes­sions tweeted a photo of cups set up for “Jews vs. Nazis” on April 27. The photo, which appeared to be from a high school in Florida, was sub­se­quently retweeted 1,800 times, favor­ited over 3,000 times, and cov­ered by the local news.

There are doc­u­mented instances of “Jews vs. Nazis” beer pong on var­i­ous social media sites going back to at least 2011. These pho­tos are fre­quently recir­cu­lated by peo­ple claim­ing they are from a recent event.

The photo from the sup­posed recent game actu­ally first appeared in March 2013 on Red­dit, a user-generated news site. It has since shown up on other blogs and web­sites where drink­ing games are a com­mon topic, as well as on a food blog and the web­site of a Col­orado radio sta­tion, which described five new ver­sions of beer pong for its lis­ten­ers to try.

The March 2013 photo, the most com­monly cir­cu­lated on social media, often also includes the game’s rules. In addi­tion to hav­ing the teams shape their cups into a swastika and a Star of David, the game’s over-the-top insen­si­tiv­i­ties include giv­ing the “Jews” the abil­ity to hide one of their cups as the “Anne Frank” cup and the “Nazis” the abil­ity to “Auschwitz” their oppo­nents, mean­ing that one of their play­ers must tem­porar­ily sit out.

Not only is this game pro­foundly offen­sive, its rules also encour­age anti-Semitism against the “Jew” team. The rules state: “Through­out the game you are sup­posed to talk a lot of s–t and say as many racist things as pos­si­ble to make it more enjoy­able. My Jew­ish friends actu­ally love this game haha.”

This game under­scores once more the crit­i­cal need for Holo­caust edu­ca­tion. A recent global poll on anti-Semitism con­ducted by ADL revealed that only a lit­tle more than half of the respon­dents had heard of the Holo­caust, though that num­ber was much higher in the U.S. where 89% of peo­ple acknowl­edged aware­ness of the Holocaust.

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