Berlin Police Investigate Roger Waters Over Nazi-Style Concert Uniform | Pink Floyd

Roger Waters wears ‘Nazi costume’ and fires imitation machine gun during concert in Berlin – video

Pink Floyd

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

Police in Germany have launched a criminal investigation into Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters over a Nazi-style uniform he wore at a recent concert in Berlin.

“An investigation has been opened into the costume shown at the concerts on May 17 and 18,” Berlin police spokesman Martin Halweg told The Guardian.

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

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

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

During the concert at Berlin’s Mercedes Benz Arena, 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 black leather trench coat with a red bracelet featuring two crossed hammers instead of a swastika.

In the rock opera, the song marks the 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 the German band Scorpions In the Flesh performed at a concert in no man’s land next to the recently toppled Berlin Wall in 1990, Waters wore a military uniform more similar to that of 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 2010-2013 The Wall Live tour, which included nine concerts in Germany.

As part of their investigation, police in Berlin would look at footage from his previous shows in Germany to assess whether the costume had been changed, Halweg said.

The Israeli authorities have criticized Waters in recent days not so much for the costumes as for a fragment with the names of activists killed by the authorities. Names on the list included Anne Frank, the Jewish teenager who was murdered in a Nazi concentration camp, and Shireen Abu Akleh, the Palestinian-American journalist believed to have been 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 in an active combat zone,” adding, “Waters is trying to compare Israel to the Nazis.”

The Berlin police will continue to collect evidence for about three months and then hand over their findings to the prosecutor’s office, who will assess whether Waters’ act can be regarded as incitement to hatred.

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

Frankfurt’s administrative court last month declared the singer entitled to continue with the event, while acknowledging aspects of his show were “tasteless”.

Leave a comment