Olympic figure skating champion Tatiana Navka, the wife of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, sparked outrage for giving a Holocaust-themed performance with actor Andrey Burkovskiy.
The two wore gold Stars of David and striped uniforms resembling those Jewish prisoners wore in concentrations camps. They skated to “Beautiful That Way,” a song by an Israeli singer that was featured in the 1997 movie “Life is Beautiful” about the Holocaust.
The performance on Saturday night was for a Russian reality television show, media outlets in Israel reported. A video of the routine was posted on YouTube, showing the pair dancing and sliding smoothly across the ice.
Navka posted a series of pictures of the routine on her Instagram account, where angry users condemned the figure skater and demanded an apology.
One user identifying herself as Israeli called Navka a “very sick person.”
“6 million are dead,” the user said in a comment on Navka’s Instagram post. “Its not art its very sick. U should apologize.”
Navka said in her post that the performance was based on “Life is Beautiful,” which she said is one of her favorite movies. She also said children need to remember and know about the Holocaust.
That didn’t stop criticism from pouring in.
“This is awful,” one user posted. “Do you not realize you celebrated an atrocity? This isn’t about a movie- it’s about real life and the murder of millions!!!!”
The same sentiment surfaced on other social media platforms.
“HOLOCAUST on ice....how scabrous,” a Facebook user who says she lives in Haifa posted.
Посмотрите обязательно! Один из моих любимых номеров!По мотивам одного из моих любимых фильмов " Жизнь прекрасна"! Покажите этот фильм своим детям, обязательно☝🏻️📹🎥📽 #ледниковыйпериод @tatiana_navka @aburkovskiy PS : Наши дети должны знать и помнить о том страшном времени, которого надеюсь-даст Бог, они никогда не узнают!🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
The Jerusalem Post called the routine a “chilling performance,” and added that it wasn’t the first time Russian reality TV aired a Holocaust-theme performance. A dance routine for the country’s version of “Dancing with the Stars” in April featured a man dressed as a Nazi officer looking for a young Jewish girl who was hiding. The routine was set to Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me To The Moon.”
© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.