Holocaust ice skating routine in Russian Federation called 'unbelievably tasteless'

Olympic figure skating champion and TV presenter Tatiana Navka right and her husband Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov

Navka, a gold medallist for Russian Federation in ice dance at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, has defended the performance.

A reality ice skating competition in Russian Federation has sparked controversy for its Holocaust-inspired routine.

Ms Navka's husband Dimitry Peskov, who is spokesman for president Vladimir Putin, told Russia's Tass news agency he's not able to comment on the incident, but did say he's proud of his wife.

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

The Nazis forced Jews to put yellow Star of David patches on their clothes during the Holocaust to identify them as Jewish, and prisoners in concentration camps often had to wear striped pajamas as their uniform.

The routine was choreographed by 2002 Olympic silver medalist Ilya Averbukh, who is Jewish.

Averbukh, who said in a 2012 interview that he "had problems" in his childhood because of his Jewish name, said the outrage over the performance was unwarranted. "This is blasphemy", wrote another viewer, Viki Reznik, in a comment to a YouTube video that had been viewed more than 89,000 times by Monday afternoon, with most reactions negative. "Many people write me they watched that Oscar-winning film again after our presentation and many children thus learned what Holocaust actually was".

The performance was meant to directly reference the Holocaust, according to the Daily Mail.

"Motifs from the Holocaust are not for parties, not for dance and not for reality (TV)", Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev told Israeli Army Radio on Sunday.

In her post, Navka said the performance was based on "Life is attractive", which she said is one of her favorite movies.

Putin, as well as Russia's top leaders, have paid homage to Holocaust victims in the past and "have spoken against attempts to justify the crimes of Nazis or their allies".

The pair won maximum points on the Ice Age show on state-controlled Channel One and praise from judges, while Navka wrote on Instagram that it was one of her "favourite routines", and "our children should know and remember this bad time".

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