Jewish groups and politicians rallied in protest of Roger Waters’ Frankfurt, Germany, concert amid allegations that the Pink Floyd co-founder performed in Berlin while wearing in an outfit reminiscent of a Nazi uniform.
Ahead of Waters’ Sunday evening concert, Frankfurt-based Jewish groups Honestly Concerned and WerteInitiative (“values initiative” in German) were among the groups and individuals who gathered for a memorial ceremony and rally against the event, according to a report from AP.
The protest comes just days after Berlin authorities announced Waters was under investigation for a Nazi regime-themed performance that took place earlier this month at Berlin’s Mercedes-Benz Arena. In a video circulated on social media of the performance, Waters is dressed in what appears to be a Nazi-styled uniform — including a red armband that swapped out swastikas for hammers — while pretending to fire a fake machine gun.
According to Berlin chief inspector Martin Halweg, Waters is under “suspicion of incitement of the people,” with the use of Nazi imagery and clothing being a crime in Germany
“The context of the clothing worn is deemed capable of approving, glorifying or justifying the violent and arbitrary rule of the Nazi regime in a manner that violates the dignity of the victims and thereby disrupts public peace,” Halweg wrote in a statement.
Ahead of Sunday’s event, the AP reported that Frankfurt authorities attempted to prevent the concert from happening, but was ultimately unsuccessful in blocking Waters in a local court.
Following the allegations of antisemitism, Waters defended his Berlin performance in a statement on Facebook, which accused protestors of aiming to “smear and silence [the musician] because they disagree with [his] political views and moral principles.”
“The elements of my performance that have been questioned are quite clearly a statement in opposition to fascism, injustice, and bigotry in all its forms,” Waters wrote. “Attempts to portray those elements as something else are disingenuous and politically motivated. The depiction of an unhinged fascist demagogue has been a feature of my shows since Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’ in 1980.”
“I have spent my entire life speaking out against authoritarianism and oppression wherever I see it. When I was a child after the war, the name of Anne Frank was often spoken in our house, she became a permanent reminder of what happens when fascism is left unchecked. My parents fought the Nazis in World War II, with my father paying the ultimate price,” Waters said. “Regardless of the consequences of the attacks against me, I will continue to condemn injustice and all those who perpetrate it.”