In Brief

Outrage over Holocaust-themed ice skating routine

Wife of Vladimir Putin's aide dons striped uniform and yellow Star of David for routine on Russian version of Dancing on Ice

Holocaust Ice Skating

A Holocaust-themed ice-skating routine on Russian TV has caused outrage worldwide.

The dance, which was shown on Ice Age, the country's version of Dancing on Ice, featured a couple dressed in the striped suits of concentration camp prisoners and sporting yellow Star of David patches, which Jews were to wear in Nazi Germany.

It starred former Olympic ice skater Tatiana Navka, who is married to President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Pesko, and actor Andrei Burkovsky

At the end of the dance, there was the sound of Burkovsky being "shot" offstage while a sad-looking Navka stood alone on the ice.

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Navka claimed she based the routine on the Italian Holocaust film Life is Beautiful, which won two Oscars for its writer/director/star Roberto Benigni.

Posting images of the dance on Instagram, the skater said: "One of my favourite numbers! Inspired by one of my favourite films, Life is Beautiful! You must show your children this film. 

"Our children must know and remember about such terrible times that I hope, by the grace of God, they will never experience."

Benigni's film was criticised on its release for turning the Holocaust into a comedy, although many commentators agreed it treated the subject matter with sufficient respect, despite its humour.

However, social media commentators in Russia called Navka's adaptation "sick" and "mad", says the Daily Telegraph

One wrote: "The Nazi regime separated families, put them in concentration camps, killed them in gas chambers… you make a nice happy smiling dance out of it? Are [you] mad?" Another added: "Words cannot express how sick this is."

Nor has the routine gone down well internationally. US comedian Sarah Silverman tweeted her amazement:

Jeremy Jones, of Australia's Israel and Jewish Affairs Council, told CNN the act was "unbelievably tasteless".

He said: "The lack of thought that would have to go into making that decision is almost mind-blowing… Long after they're forgotten as ice skaters they'll be remember as people who sank to such depths to get some celebrity."

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