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Putin spokesman's wife Navka speaks up about her Holocaust-themed performance

November 29, 2016, 20:06 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Navka and Burkovsky performed a routine to a fragment of the soundtrack of Benigni’s film "Life is Beautiful’ that recounts the story of a family sent to a concentration camp during WWII

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© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, November 29. /TASS/. Clearheaded, perceptive people cannot condemn a Holocaust-themed item performed on the Ice Age Russian TV show, Olympic gold winning ice dancer Tatiana Navka, who presented the item together with screen actor Andrei Burkovsky, told TASS on Tuesday.

Navka and Burkovsky performed a routine to a fragment of the soundtrack of Roberto Benigni’s film "Life is Beautiful’ that recounts the story of a Jewish-Italian family sent to a concentration camp during World War II. While in the camp, the father tells his son everything happening to and around them is a game and that if the boy remains unsighted by a guard he will get a real tank.

Although the Navka/Burkovsky routine perfectly matched the storyline of the film, it triggered a wave of criticism, particularly in foreign mass media.

"If we don’t show all of this, if we don’t shoot films or stage plays (on the Holocaust issue - TASS), how will the next generations of people learn about that dreadful time?" Navka said.

"And what’s the other way to perceive and comprehend it if not by heart?" she asked somewhat rhetorically. "Many people write me they watched that Oscar-winning film again after our presentation and many children thus learned what Holocaust actually was."

"This only means we have reached out to people’s hearts," Navka said. "People of reason can’t condemn our item and they’re writing the words of gratitude for our work to us."

She recalled that hardly anyone would have paid attention to her performance of an item of the same content when she was in her previous marital status.

"I’ve appeared on the same show in the past in a routine to the soundtrack from ‘Schindler’s List’ and I also was dressed in a prisoner’s role then but no one paid attention to it," Navka said. "And now?"

She referred to the opinion of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s official spokesperson Maria Zakharova, who wrote in Facebook on Monday the criticisms the foreign mass media were addressing to Navka and Rudkovsky were part of a political contract.

"Zakharova was absolutely right when she wrote about cowardly hypocrites and liars performing a political order and when she said they ignored the pulling down of monuments to the fighters with Holocaust," Navka said. "In the meantime, millions of people have watched the clip with our presentation. We issued a reminder to them about the horrors of those times. And it appears we did the right thing."

She suggested that the critics should watch "Life is Beautiful" again.

"I’d like to tell them, watch the movie against and listen to the song that says ‘Smile in spite of all the problems in your life, smile without any reason for smiling as if you were children because life will be still more beautiful then’," Navka said.

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