London School of Economics
Houghton Street, the center of London School of Economics campus. Photo by Wikipedia
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The London School of Economics confirmed Monday it had opened an investigation into an alleged anti-Semitic incident on a university ski trip last month, which involved a Nazi-themed drinking game and ended in a Jewish student’s nose being broken.

Some 150 students from the school’s athletic union attended the winter break trip to Val d’Isere in the French mountain, which was organized by the student union.

According to a statement released by the LSE’s Jewish Society, a student objected to a drinking game that was being played, leading to a physical confrontation.

According to the Jewish Society, the group of students was playing a popular drinking game called Ring of Fire, but with a Nazi twist. This involved playing cards being arranged on a table in the shape of a swastika, with players required to “salute the Fuhrer.”

Broken nose

A Jewish student present, offended by the goings on, asked to stop the drinking game and the anti-Semitic gibes and jokes being thrown around. A fight then broke out, either right away or later in the evening, according to competing versions of events, and the complainer’s nose was broken.

Jay Stoll, president of the LSE’s Jewish Society said that “there is simply no context for what has happened here. Those who believe the game was all in good humor need to realize that when a Jewish student is subject to violence and the Nazi ideology glorified it is no joke but a spiteful, collective attack on a community.”

Alex Peters-Day, general secretary of the student union, said in a statement that the described events were completely “at odds with everything the LSE and the union stand for.” Brendan Mycock, president of the LSE athletics union, condemned what he said were the actions of “a small group of individuals.”

The student, who did not want to be identified, told the Guardian newspaper that he was subjected to both personal attacks and “general Jewish insults.” “That was after I excused myself from the game,” he said. “It made me extremely upset. That was the tipping point for me. It was a build-up during the game, and seeing the swastika obviously, but the comments built up to the point where I couldn’t forgive myself if I let it slide. I feel angry about it now. There’s no doubt it was an affront at my identity, but on a personal level it was extremely
upsetting.”

This incident is not the first of its kind to be reported out of a British University recently. Just two months ago, four senior members of the Oxford University Conservative Association (OUCA) resigned after accusing other members of engaging in anti-Semitic behavior, including singing a Nazi-themed song.

A recent study commissioned by the Union of Jewish Students and conducted by IPSOS Mori and the Institute for Jewish Policy Research found that 20% of Jewish students had experienced and a further 32% had witnessed anti-Semitism in the last academic year.