Holocaust ice skating routine in Russia called ‘unbelievably tasteless’

Image: YouTube

MOSCOW, Nov. 28 (UPI) — The wife of an aide to Russian president Vladimir Putin appeared in a concentration camp uniform for a televised ice dance competition, drawing outrage.

Saturday’s performance was based on the 1997 Italian film, “Life is Beautiful,” which is the story of a Jewish father who tries to hide his son from the Holocaust through humor and games.

Former Olympic ice skater Tatiana Navka and her dance partner, Andrei Burkovsky, performed wearing the striped uniform and yellow star of David, mimicking what Jewish victims were forced to wear at Nazi concentration camps during World War II.

Navka and Burkovsky smiled and pantomimed shooting at each other in front of an imaginary child; Burkovsky exited to the sound of machine gun fire.

The music from the film’s soundtrack is by Israeli singer Noa’s “Beautiful That Way.”

Navka married President Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, in August 2015

The dance was part of a celebrity ice skating show called “Ice Age,” which is similar to Dancing with the Stars on ABC in the United States. The six judges gave them perfect scores for technique and artristry.

“Holocaust themes are not for parties, they are not for dancing, and they are not for reality shows,” Regev told Army Radio. “Any attempt to present the Holocaust in that way is inappropriate and has no place.”

He noted: “None of the 6 million danced and the death camps were not a summer camp, and I think that perhaps they need to understand that themselves from our responses,”

Jeremy Jones, the director of International Affairs at Australia’s Israel and Jewish Affairs Council, called the performance “unbelievably tasteless.”

“The lack of thought that would have to go into making that decision is almost mindblowing … Long after they’re forgotten as ice skaters they’ll be remember as people who sunk to such depths to get some celebrity,” he said to CNN.

But Navka wrote with photographs from the performance on her Instagram account:“Definitely watch this! One of my favorite numbers!”

“Our children should know and remember that terrible time.”

In April, Russia’s version of Dancing with the Stars included Nazi officers searching for a young Jewish girl hiding behind a piano.


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