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. 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.