German police investigating Roger Waters for ‘incitement to hatred’ after he dressed as a Nazi during Berlin concert
Roger Waters, of the band Pink Floyd, is under criminal investigation by German police after he wore a costume resembling a Nazi uniform during a concert in Berlin.
The concert featured Waters shooting a World War II-era MP-40 submachine gun, as well as an enormous screen that highlighted numerous names during the show, such as Anne Frank and names of victims of deadly police encounters. Those names included George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Philando Castile.
As Yahoo News reported, the pair of concerts May 17-18, 2023, at the Mercedes-Benz Arena spawned a criminal investigation by Berlin police, which was confirmed by spokeswoman Jennifer Bähle to CNN. ”We have received information from the public including pictures and videos which according to the external appearance are suitable for fulfilling the offense of incitement to hatred,” she said.
”The State Security Department at the Berlin State Criminal Police Office has initiated a criminal investigation procedure regarding the suspicion of incitement of the people (140 Paragraph 4 of the German criminal Code),” a statement by Berlin police reportedly read.
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 routine has reportedly been part of his solo concerts for at least 30 years. This included a previous show in Berlin in 1990.
”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,” 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.
Waters has denied any anti-Semitism accusations and even opened one of his concerts by saying: “On a matter of public interest: a court in Frankfurt has ruled that I am not an anti-Semite. Just to be clear, I condemn anti-Semitism unreservedly.”
In an interview posted online on May 6, 2023, Waters reportedly told the interviewer that he “can be allowed to do a show because it’s theater, darling. The idea that no one can dress up in a f***ing Nazi uniform ever, to do anything, in a theater or a film, is ludicrous, obviously.”
“You don’t dress up like him in a pro-Himmler or pro-Nazi way,” the interviewer replied. “It’s a scathing critique, you are playing a villainous character.”
“It’s a parody,” Waters replied.
Waters still has another show scheduled for Frankfurt, Germany.
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