Pink Floyd founder investigated over Nazi costume
German police have opened a criminal investigation into Roger Waters, the co-founder of Pink Floyd, after he appeared wearing a costume resembling a Nazi uniform at two concerts in Berlin last week.
Waters wore the costume while performing Pink Floyd’s 1979 concept album “The Wall,” in which the album’s protagonist hallucinates that he is a fascist dictator. The satirical routine has been part of Waters’ solo shows for at least 30 years, including a famous live performance of the album in Berlin in 1990. This week appears to be the first time the German government has launched a criminal investigation following his performance. , However.
Berlin police spokeswoman Jennifer Bähle confirmed to CNN on Friday that Waters was being investigated for alleged incitement at two concerts in the city last week, May 17 and 18. “We have received information from the public, including photos and videos which by the outward appearance are suitable for the commission of the offense of incitement to hatred,” she said.
“The State Security Department of the Berlin State Criminal Police Office has opened criminal investigation proceedings regarding the suspicion of incitement to the people (140, paragraph 4 of the German Criminal Code) “said a Berlin police statement sent to CNN.
“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 violates the dignity of the victims and thereby disturbs the public peace,” the statement continued.
“After the conclusion of the investigation, the case will be forwarded to the Berlin public prosecutor’s office for legal assessment,” the police statement concluded.
In a statement posted on Facebook dated May 20, Waters criticized the German Bundestag’s vote in 2019 to label the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as anti-Semitic. Waters has been a frequent supporter of the BDS movement and an outspoken critic of the Israeli state’s treatment of the Palestinian people.
Video posted and shared on social media of Waters’ performance at the Mercedes-Benz Arena last week shows the musician in costume with a red armband adorned with two crossed hammers – an image from Pink Floyd’s album ‘The Wall’ which has been appropriated by racist skinhead groups, according to the Anti-Defamation League. The video shows Waters pretending to fire into the crowd with a propeller-driven machine gun. According to the Berlin police, this representation is likely to glorify the reign of the National Socialists.
Performances in Germany were the subject of deep controversy prior to Waters’ arrival. He has always denied being an anti-Semite. In his May 20 statement, the singer said he visited the graves of anti-Nazi activists Sophie and Hans Scholl during a tour in Munich last week.
Waters is due to perform in Frankfurt on Sunday.
Frankfurt city authorities have demanded the venue cancel his concert there, but according to a report by The Guardian, a German court ruled in April that if his performance uses “symbolism manifestly based on that of the National Socialist regime” , the musician’s work “did not glorify or relativize the crimes of the Nazis or identify with racist Nazi ideology.
Frankfurt’s Jewish community staged a protest against his upcoming performance. “On this day will be the concert of musician Roger Waters known for his anti-Semitic performances and statements. We don’t want to stand idly by when a well-known anti-Semitic theorist and conspiracy theorist is offered a stage in Frankfurt,” said the Jewish community in a statement on Instagram.
According to Waters’ show schedule, he is also set to perform in a series of concerts in the UK next week, including Birmingham, Glasgow, London and Manchester.
In an interview with podcaster Katie Halper posted online May 6, Waters said, “I can be allowed to do a show because it’s darling theater. The idea that no one could ever dress up in a fucking Nazi uniform, to do anything, in a theater or a movie, is obviously ridiculous.
His comments came shortly after he won a legal battle to revoke Frankfurt City Council’s ban on his upcoming gig.
“You don’t dress like him, in a pro-Himmler or pro-Nazi way,” Halper said. “That’s a scathing review, you play a villainous character.”
“It’s a travesty,” Waters replied.
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