German police have opened a criminal investigation into English rock legend and Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters for allegedly glorifying Nazism at two concerts in Berlin. The musician insisted the performance was in opposition to fascism.
In a statement quoted by several media on Friday, Berlin police said Waters was suspected of incitement to hatred, and that the investigation focused on his performances on May 17 and 18 in the German capital.
In images posted to social media, the musician can be seen wearing a leather trench coat resembling a Nazi uniform with two crossed hammers and a red armband. He then takes a fake gun and shoots into the crowd.
“The context of the clothing worn is deemed capable of endorsing, glorifying or justifying the violent and arbitrary rule of the Nazi regime in a way that undermines the dignity of the victims and thereby disturbs the public peace”, said the police.
Nazi-related symbols are banned in Germany, with one exception for educational or artistic purposes.
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Waters’ performance was apparently referencing the movie “The Wall,” an adaptation of Pink Floyd’s 1979 self-titled album. The rock star appears as the album’s protagonist who hallucinates being a fascist dictator speaking to a Nazi rally.
Waters’ concerts also featured a pig-shaped balloon floating in the air, complete with a logo from Israeli arms company Elbit Systems and the Star of David. The show also involved showing the names of people appearing on screen, including Anne Frank, a Jewish journalist who died in a Nazi concentration camp, and Palestinian Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed while she was covering an Israeli military operation in May. 2022.
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon suggested Waters wanted to compare Israel to the Nazis, describing the musician as “one of the greatest enemies of the Jews of our time.”
On Friday, the musician addressed the controversy, writing on Twitter that he had become the target of “Bad faith attacks” of those who disagreed with his political views.
“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, adding that he had spent his whole life expressing himself “against authoritarianism and oppression.”
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