Waters said depictions of an “unhinged fascist demagogue” have featured in Pink Floyd concerts since 1980.
Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters has said he opposes ‘fascism’ in all its forms following an outcry in Germany where the rockstar donned a Nazi-style uniform during a concert in Berlin sparked a police investigation.
Berlin police said on Friday they were investigating Waters after images of the Pink Floyd co-founder circulated on social media showing him on stage last week at the Mercedes-Benz Arena wearing a long black coat. with red armbands and firing an imitation World War II submachine gun.
Police are investigating “the suspicion of incitement to public hatred because clothing worn on stage could be used to glorify or justify the Nazi regime”, a police spokesman told French news agency AFP. .
When the police investigation is complete, the case will be passed on to prosecutors in Berlin, police said.
Felix Klein, the German government’s commissioner for combating anti-Semitism, demanded that Waters be held accountable. Klein said authorities needed to be “vigilant” following the incident and concert halls should rethink their relationship with the musician, according to a report by German media group Funke.
“Concert organizers should consider whether they want to provide a platform for conspiracy theorists,” Klein reportedly said.
In a statement posted to his Twitter account on Saturday, Waters said his concert in Berlin had “drawn bad faith attacks from those who want to smear me and silence me because they disagree with my political opinions.
Waters said attempts to portray her performance as anything other than anti-fascist were “dishonest and politically motivated”.
“The elements of my performance that have been questioned are very clearly a statement of opposition to fascism, injustice and bigotry in all its forms,” he said.
— Roger Waters ✊ (@rogerwaters) May 26, 2023
“The portrayal of an unhinged fascist demagogue has been a feature of my shows since Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’ in 1980,” he said.
“I’ve spent my whole life speaking out against authoritarianism and oppression where I put it… My parents fought the Nazis in World War II, my father paying the ultimate price,” a- he declared.
“Whatever the consequences of the attacks on me, I will continue to condemn injustice and all who commit it.”
Water is a well-known pro-Palestinian activist who has been accused of holding anti-Jewish views. He floated an inflatable pig emblazoned with the Star of David at his concerts. The singer denies accusations of anti-Semitism, saying he was protesting Israeli policies, not the Jewish people.
Waters has been playing in several German cities in recent weeks as part of his “This Is Not A Drill” tour. But it was hugely controversial, with some city officials even trying, unsuccessfully, to ban him from performing.
At the same concert in Berlin, Waters also projected the names of several deceased people onto the big screen, including that of Anne Frank, the Jewish teenager who died in a Nazi concentration camp.
Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American journalist with Al Jazeera, who was shot dead by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank last year.
Abu Akleh’s family has filed a formal complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) seeking justice for his death.
Waters is due to perform his last German concert in the western city of Frankfurt on Sunday evening and protesters plan to demonstrate outside the venue.
Frankfurt city authorities tried to stop the concert, but a court ruled against them, citing artistic freedom.