A Republican student organisation has apologised after one of its members distributed an anti-Semitic Valentine's Day card. Central Michigan University College Republicans apologised for the card which celebrated the death of Jews who died in the Holocaust.

On 9 February the group had a Valentine's Day party which featured a Secret Santa style game where members each placed anonymised Valentine's cards in bags. The cards were then distributed across campus.

One found its way into the hands of a student who opened the envelope to discover a picture of Adolf Hitler accompanied with the message: "My love for you burns like 6,000 Jews".

A photo of it was uploaded to Twitter with the message: "Hey College Republicans at CMU. Wanna talk about this anti-Semitic "Valentine'" you passed out today?"

The young Republicans swiftly issued a formal apology through social media. It read: "Unfortunately, a very inappropriate card was placed into a bag without other members' knowledge.

"A bag was then given away to students sitting in Anspach, once again without members' knowledge of its contents. The College Republicans as an organization did not distribute this valentine.

"We in no way condone this type of rhetoric or anti-Semitism. We apologize for any offense, and want students to know that we do not tolerate this sort of behavior."

At present the neither the group nor the university have indicated whether any individual students have been apprehended or will face punishment.

Central Michigan University President George E Ross said: "Such hurtful, offensive language, while protected by the First Amendment, is unacceptable and is not consistent with our values and standards.

"We caution against concluding that the action is representative of the entire student organization or its members and remind all that threatening others as a result of such an incident can have legal consequences."