Roger Waters, a renowned musician and member of the band Pink Floyd, is currently facing severe backlash and potential legal repercussions following his controversial attire during a recent concert in Berlin, Germany, held on May 17.
During the performance, Waters wore a costume inspired by the Nazi regime, which has sparked an investigation by the local police. The musician appeared on stage at the Mercedes-Benz Arena donning an SS-style uniform while singing the song “In The Flesh.” It is worth noting that the use of Nazi symbols or gestures is considered a criminal offense in Germany.
Despite Waters’ claims that he employs fascist-inspired imagery as a means of critique, the display of Nazi symbols is strictly prohibited in the country. His choice to wear sunglasses, a swastika-inspired armband, and carry a fake rifle drew significant criticism and raised concerns about his intentions. However, instead of the Third Reich symbol, he substituted it with a pair of crossed hammers.
Throughout the concert, an inflatable pig adorned with graffiti resembling fascist symbols and a Star of David floated above the audience. Additionally, the stadium screens displayed the names of several individuals, including Anne Frank, a Holocaust victim; Masha Amini, a woman who died in the custody of Iran’s “morality police” in September; George Floyd, who was tragically killed by Minneapolis police in May 2020; and Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American journalist who lost her life while covering violence in the West Bank earlier this month.
Waters, known for his criticism of Israel and his support for the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement, faced immediate backlash from Israel’s official Twitter account. They condemned his actions and accused him of disrespecting the memory of Anne Frank and the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust.
Berlin’s chief police inspector announced that a criminal investigation had been launched in response to suspicions of incitement during the concert. The clothing worn by Waters was considered potentially endorsing, glorifying, or justifying the violent and arbitrary rule of the Nazi regime, thereby violating the dignity of the victims and disturbing public peace.
In light of these developments, Waters’ team has been approached for comment, but they have yet to respond. Meanwhile, his upcoming concert in Frankfurt, Germany, scheduled for May 28, is anticipated to feature a similar setup and has already attracted significant attention.
In April, local magistrates in Frankfurt attempted to have the concert canceled, citing Waters as “one of the most widely known antisemites in the world.” However, a court ruled in favor of Waters, determining that the show did not glorify or trivialize the crimes committed by the Nazis or propagate Nazi racist ideology.
As the investigation into Roger Waters’ controversial concert attire continues, the musician’s actions have ignited a heated debate surrounding the appropriate use of provocative imagery and symbols, particularly those associated with one of history’s most brutal regimes.