Controversy in Russia over Holocaust ice dance

Ice Age is a celebrity skating contest similar to the United Kingdom series Dancing on Ice.

Navka, the wife of Mr Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov, took Olympic gold with her then partner Roman Kostomarov at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.

In a post on her Instagram account, Navka wrote that the routine was meant as a tribute to the Oscar-winning Italian film, Life is handsome, which follows the efforts of a father who tries to protect his son from the horrors of the concentration camp they are imprisoned in by pretending that it's just a game. Navka wrote under photos from the performance on her Instagram, adding that "our children should know and remember that bad time".

Navka wrote in her post that the performance was based on Life is handsome, one of her favorite movies, and that children need to remember the Holocaust.

But instead of focusing on the delicate matter of the skating performance that centered on life's triumph over death, critics lashed out at the pair who smiled as they skated wearing concentration camp uniforms.

Concentration camps were not "beautiful", and they certainly weren't entertaining - so why even try to put such a horrific event in such a positive light?

The high-energy routine saw the skating partners pretend to shoot each other, while beaming at the audience.

THE WIFE OF a key aide of Russian leader Vladimir Putin has raised eyebrows by performing a "Holocaust dance" on a celebrity ice-skating programme.

Navka, a 41-year-old Olympian, mentioned in an Instagram post that their choreography was not meant to disrespect Jews. "You must show your children this film", she wrote in Russian.

"Together with the music and the acting, similar to the film "Life is beautiful", I actually see a depiction of the difficulties Jewish parents had to go through to keep their children happy".

Russian ice dancer Ilya Averbukh, who choreographed the routine, angrily defended it to Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid this morning, saying "I would call all this reaction a sign of the craziness of today".

"6 million are dead", one user said in a comment, according to CBS News.

"Oh those whacky Holocaust victims (OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD)", Sarah Silverman, a comedian who never shies away from offensive humor, tweeted about the dance.

  • Delores Daniels