Roger Waters mounted the Mercedes-Benz Arena stage in Berlin on May 17 and 18 wearing a long black leather coat with a red armband with two hammers fashioned into an “X,” black gloves, and a black suit and tie, and carrying a machine gun replica. Now German authorities are investigating the rocker on charges of “suspected incitement” for wearing Nazi-like imagery.
”The State Security Department at the Berlin State Criminal Police Office has initiated a criminal investigation procedure regarding the suspicion of incitement of the people (140 Paragraph 4 of the German criminal Code),” the Berlin police said in a statement:
The context of the clothing worn is deemed capable of approving, glorifying or justifying the violent and arbitrary rule of the Nazi regime in a manner that violates the dignity of the victims and thereby disrupts public peace. After the conclusion of the investigation, the case will be forwarded to the Berlin Public Prosecutor’s Office for legal assessment.
Wow, this is @rogerwaters imitating a Nazi, while at a concert in … Berlin. This is just unhinged Jew hatred and Holocaust distortion. The man is vile beyond words. pic.twitter.com/zn1EvudSXc
— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) May 25, 2023
Other stage decorations included an inflated pig bearing the Nazi-inspired logo, a Star of David, and banners evoking the Third Reich-styled imagery, StereoGum reported.
Waters has been stung by accusations that he is an antisemite over his gross attacks on Israel. Indeed, back in March, Waters threatened to sue the town council of Frankfurt, Germany, for canceling his concerts there after the city accused him of hating Jews.
Minutes before he took the stage in Berlin, Waters flashed a message to the audience disputing claims he is an antisemite.
The message read: “The show will start in 10 minutes and a court in Frankfurt has ruled that I am not an antisemite… just to be clear, I condemn antisemitism unreservedly.”
Waters also noted that his concert trappings were meant to evoke his 1979 fascist character in the Pink Floyd film The Wall and the album of the same name.
Still, Waters courted controversy with his tributes to people he claims were killed by governments, including American George Floyd, and Iranian protester Mahsa Amini, the latter of whom was murdered by Iranian “morality police” in 2022. But he also added a photo of Anne Frank, killed by Nazis in WWII, just before an image of Shireen Abu Akleh, a journalist who may have been killed by Israeli soldiers last year during a firefight with Palestinian terrorists.
Jewish groups blasted Waters for seeming to couple Jewish hero Anne Frank with Abu Akleh as if the deaths of the two were at all similar. The two images together sparked “outrage from Israeli and Jewish activists and officials around the world,” according to the Jerusalem Post .
The paper also condemned Waters for using images of pigs and shady businessmen in the concert claiming that the themes equate to an “antisemitic dogwhistle.”
The State of Israel also slammed Waters for his antisemitic imagery with a tweet on Wednesday, reading, “Good morning to every one but Roger Waters who spent the evening in Berlin (Yes Berlin) desecrating the memory of Anne Frank and the 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust.”
Good morning to every one but Roger Waters who spent the evening in Berlin (Yes Berlin) desecrating the memory of Anne Frank and the 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust. pic.twitter.com/4tcrV6f8mt
— Israel ישראל 🇱 (@Israel) May 24, 2023
Waters’ own former band mates, though, have also called him an antisemite. Floyd guitarist David Gilmour recently blasted Waters as an antisemite to his “rotten core.”
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