A group of high schoolers at Princeton High School, New Jersey, have posted a photo of themselves playing a drinking game called 'Jews vs Nazis'.
The game is a variant of traditional beer pong. However, instead of arranging the red solo cups in the usual pyramid structure, the cups are configured as the Star of David (team Jew) on one end of the table, and a swastika (team Nazi) on the other.
The rules of the game have a few new elements in line with the Holocaust theme. The Jewish team have an "Anne Frank cup" that they are allowed to hide wherever they want. The Nazis can "Auschwitz" a Jew, forcing them to sit out the next round.
The game flags two issues, one being under-aged drinking. The legal drinking age is 21 in the US, meaning high schoolers, who are, at most, 18-years-old, would not be legally allowed to part take in a drinking game.
The other concern is one of cultural insensitivity and anti-semitism, in particular among younger and supposedly more progressive generations.
"This trend is hitting new lows as time passes, and as Holocaust survivors and the memory of what really happened during World War II dwindles," says Dr Dvir Abramovich, Chairman of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission.
"The systematic extermination of six million Jews and millions of others should not form the basis for any game or humour. The students who played this game made a mockery of the suffering of the victims, the survivors and their families, and dishonoured the brave sacrifices made by those who fought to defeat Hitler’s evil regime.
"We hope that the students involved apologise for their outrageous and tasteless conduct," he says.
Though the students in question are yet to respond, a fellow student at the same high school, Jamaica Ponder, reposted the Snap to her blog, sharing the following message of disgust.
"Well, perhaps it is a joke. But then I guess the punchline would be: genocide. Pardon me if I don’t find that to be hilarious...
"I’m not even Jewish and I’m still offended. This type of behavior [sic] makes me believe that this group of guys would readily play 'pin the noose on the nigger,'" she wrote.
Ponder also mentioned how "silly" her classmates were for posting the picture to Snapchat, leaving it there "long enough for me, and several others, to take a screenshot".
NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Chief Executive, Vic Alhadeff, agrees with the views above: "It’s a dangerous and slippery slope if a game which makes light of murder and genocide becomes socially acceptable. This is deplorable behaviour and it’s important that it has been exposed as such,” he says.
Should we be worried that this game could find its ways to our shores, considering Australia's big drinking culture, a legal drinking age that includes some Year 12 students, as well as a history of racism? Mr Alhadeff says we have little need to be concerned.
“There is always a risk that such games will be exported to other countries, but our strong record of a fair go and combating bigotry makes it unlikely that such a racist game would gain traction here,” he says.
However, Dr Abramovich sees the incident in New Jersey as a warning for local schools. "This incident is a wake-up call about the need for mandatory Holocaust education in Australian schools so such distressing actions do not happen here," he says.