Berlin police investigate Roger Waters for Nazi-style uniform at concert | pink floyd

Roger Waters wears a “Nazi costume” and fires an imitation machine gun during a concert in Berlin – video

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The Pink Floyd singer wore a costume to a performance in which he imagines himself as a fictional fascist dictator

German police have opened a criminal investigation into Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters for a Nazi-style uniform he wore at a recent concert in Berlin.

β€œAn investigation has been opened into the costume presented at the concerts on May 17 and 18,” Berlin police spokesman Martin Halweg told the Guardian.

Displaying symbols of Nazi rule, including the swastika or SS insignia, is illegal in Germany, with exemptions for educational purposes and in artistic contexts.

The legal concept of “incitement of the people”, which often applied to Holocaust denial trials in Germany, makes it illegal to attack the human dignity of “national, racial, religious or ethnic groups”. group defined by their ethnic origins.

“The context of the clothing worn is deemed capable of endorsing, glorifying or justifying the Nazi regime’s violent and arbitrary rule in a way that violates the dignity of the victims and thereby disturbs the public peace,” Halweg said.

During the concert at the Mercedes Benz Arena in Berlin, Waters appeared on stage as the character Pink from the rock opera The Wall during a performance of the song In the Flesh, wearing a leather trench coat black with a red armband bearing two crossed hammers instead of a swastika.

In the rock opera, the song marks its protagonist’s descent into a drug-induced hallucination, in which he imagines himself as a fictional fascist dictator addressing a neo-Nazi rally.

When Pink Floyd and German band Scorpions played In the Flesh at a concert in no man’s land next to the recently toppled Berlin Wall in 1990, Waters wore a military uniform more closely resembling those worn by Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet .

In the 1982 film version of The Wall, Bob Geldof performed the same song in a Nazi-style uniform, and Waters wore a similar costume as part of his The Wall Live 2010-13 tour, which included nine concerts in Germany.

As part of their investigation, Berlin police would be looking at footage from his previous shows in Germany to determine if the costume had been changed, Halweg said.

In recent days, Israeli authorities have criticized Waters less for the costumes than a segment featuring the names of activists killed by authorities. The names on the list included Anne Frank, the Jewish teenager killed in a Nazi concentration camp, as well as that of Shireen Abu Akleh, the Palestinian-American journalist who was allegedly shot dead by an Israeli sniper in May 2022.

Danny Danon, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, wrote on Twitter that Waters compared Holocaust victim Frank to “a journalist shot dead in an active combat zone”, adding: “Waters seeks to compare Israel to the Nazis”.

Berlin police will continue to collect evidence for about three months, then hand over their findings to the public prosecutor, who will assess whether Waters’ action can be considered incitement to hatred.

Waters is due to give a concert in Frankfurt on Sunday that the city magistrates had tried to cancel, accusing him of being “one of the most notorious anti-Semites in the world”.

Frankfurt’s Administrative Court last month declared the singer’s right to continue with the event, while acknowledging that some aspects of his performance were “in bad taste”.

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