Berlin police investigating Roger Waters over Nazi-style clothing worn at gig
Roger Waters is to be investigated by Berlin police over Nazi-style clothing worn at a recent gig of his in the German capital.
Earlier this month (May 17), Waters provoked backlash after making a reference to Anne Frank at one of his concerts in Germany. The former Pink Floyd member also pretended to fire a rifle during part of his set, and wore an outfit that some deemed as having connotations to the Second World War.
This particular segment of the show revolved around a character from Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’, who imagines himself as a fictional fascist dictator during a hallucination. When playing the character, Waters donned a black trench coat and wore a red armband featuring two crossed hammers.
Wearing Nazi-related symbols or swastikas is illegal in Germany, and Berlin police spokesperson Martin Halweg told The Guardian: “An investigation has been opened over the costume displayed at the concerts on 17 and 18 May.”
“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.”
The show was part of the ongoing leg of Waters’ ‘This Is Not A Drill’ farewell tour, and was one of the two shows that were originally cancelled in the country following controversy regarding comments which many viewed as anti-semitic.
Waters has repeatedly denied all accusations of anti-semitism and explained that his disdain is towards Israel, not Judaism. He also accused Israel of “abusing the term anti-semitism to intimidate people like me into silence”.
Both shows were initially cancelled by the municipal government due to the musician’s views on Israel, before the decision was overturned.
Accusations about the alleged anti-semitic views of Waters made headlines earlier this year, when former Pink Floyd bandmate David Gilmour and his wife Polly Samson took to Twitter to label the musician as “antisemitic to [his] rotten core”.
The UK leg of his ‘This Is Not A Drill’ tour will arrive in the UK from May 31 and will make stops in Birmingham, Glasgow, London and Manchester.
Following the German gigs, a British MP claimed that Waters should not perform in Manchester due to fears that his “divisive actions” could fuel anti-Jewish hatred.
According to BBC News, the Bury South Labour MP Christian Wakeford told other MPs his concern about Waters playing at the AO Arena on June 10, explaining: “The city of Manchester has a rich and vibrant history in which those of different faiths and backgrounds have lived together as well as stood together through difficult times and times of division.”
He added: “Will the Leader of the House agree with me that concerts like this have no place in our society and shouldn’t go ahead?”