Skater In Holocaust-Themed Ice Dance: ‘I Don’t Understand What Upset People’


The Olympian wife of Vladimir Putin’s high-ranking aide, Dmitry Peskov, sparked outrage after she and her partner performed a Holocaust themed ice skating routine on the Russian reality TV show Ice Age on Saturday, Nov. 26, reported CNN.

The routine performed by Tatiana Navka and her actor partner Andrei Burkovsky, was based off the Oscar winning 1997 Italian film, “Life is Beautiful,” which tells the story of a father who convinces his son that their time in a concentration camp is simply just part of an elaborate game.

Navka and Burkovsky skated to Israeli singer, Noa’s “Beautiful That Way.” The duo dressed in grey and white striped costumes with a yellow embroidered star on their chest, similar to what Jews were forced to wear in Nazi concentration camps during World War II. Actor, Andrei Burkovsky, even wore dark makeup on his face to look bruised.

The controversial performance was choreographed by Jewish Olympian Ilia Averbukh, according to Us Weekly. At the end of the performance, Burkovsky is heard being shot, while Navka grieves.

“I am proud of my wife. That is all I can say,” Navka’s husband Dmitry Peskov said, according to The Washington Post.

Navka, 41, posted a collage of photos from the performance on Instagram after the show. She wrote in Russian, "Our children need to know and remember that terrible time, which I hope, God willing, they will never know!"

On Komsomolskaya Pravda radio Navka responded to the backlash by saying, "Honestly, I don't understand what upset people. And it's amazing that the international press picked it up," wrote the Hollywood Reporter.

"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 sunk to such depths to get some celebrity," Jeremy Jone, the Director of International Affairs at Australia's Israel and Jewish Affairs Council said to CNN.

Jewish celebrities, Sarah Silverman and Michael Ian Black, took to twitter to voice their anger over the performance.