Berlin police said Friday they were investigating Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters for incitement to hatred after he donned a Nazi-style uniform at a concert in the German capital.
Images on social media showed Waters wearing a long, black coat with red armbands on stage at the Mercedes-Benz arena last week.
"We are investigating on suspicion of incitement to public hatred because the clothing worn on stage could be used to used to glorify or justify Nazi rule, thereby disturbing the public peace," police spokesman Martin Halweg told AFP, confirming an earlier report by Jewish News.
"The clothing resembles the clothing of an SS officer," Halweg added.
Waters is a well-known pro-Palestinian activist who has been accused of holding anti-Jewish views. He has floated an inflatable pig emblazoned with the Star of David at his concerts.
Waters has played in several German cities in recent weeks as part of his "This Is Not A Drill" tour.
But it has been hugely controversial with some city officials even trying, unsuccessfully, to ban him from performing.
The "Another Brick In The Wall" singer denies the anti-Semitism accusations, saying he was protesting against Israeli policies and not the Jewish people.
At the same Berlin concert, Waters also flashed the names of several deceased people on a large screen, including that of Anne Frank, the Jewish teenager who died in a Nazi concentration camp.
Also named was slain Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, prompting criticism that Waters was relativising the Holocaust.
"Good morning to every one but Roger Waters who spent the evening in Berlin (Yes Berlin) desecrating the memory of Anne Frank and the 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust," Israel's foreign ministry tweeted earlier this week.
Waters is due to play his final German concert in the western city of Frankfurt on Sunday evening, and protesters are planning to demonstrate outside the venue.
Frankfurt city authorities sought to stop the concert but a court ruled against them, citing artistic freedom.
Uwe Becker, the anti-Semitism commissioner for the regional state of Hesse, told the Frankfurter Rundschau daily that Waters was promoting "hatred and incitement against Israel" with his shows.© 2023 AFP
He hasn’t been in Floyd for a long long time.
Being a co-founder, and being a part of the band are two different things entirely.
I am sure that Pink Floyd does not want to be associated with his “activism”.
The title of the article should be changed.
Waters is out of order wearing a Nazi uniform and firing a fake sub-gun.
It's also partly a throwback to Pink's uniform in the Wall movie. This was his final transition in the movie and the red armbands were used to show his surrender to underlying anger and bitterness, as well as a nod towards his descent into totalitarianism. The red color represents rage and violence that consume him. Like he says, it's art.
Love Waters, great musician, singer and song writer hands down.
I think Waters is more complex than a common anti-Semite but, boy, don't they take advantage of that accusation to try to police dissent. Every ideology has a supposed victim that needs protecting from forces of evil or incomprehension but when mixed with nationalism it is both seductive and toxic. And it is everywhere.
Genius musician and song writer for sure. But this guy is a master class on burning any and all relationships. He completely lost the plot when Syd melted down.
However poorly he expresses himself, his point is correct, that what Israel has done and is doing to the Palestinians is wrong.
Anti-Zionism is not the same as anti-Semitism or being anti-Israeli. Many Israelis oppose their current government under Netanyahu. Many Jews in Israel and around the world also oppose it. Zionists love to shout anti-Semitism.
The Minister of National Security in Israel is a Zionist and was a member of the Religious Zionist Party until he formed his own party. He has been convicted of inciting racism.
Roger Waters is anti-Zionist. He is not glorifying Nazis. He obviously despises Nazis.
How does one love Waters and be any kind of conservative? Perhaps there is hope for them if they do.
This is a beat up on Waters openly questioning the official narrative on the Ukraine war. Oddly enough those making the accusations against him say nothing about the support of real life and real time unsavory characters currently fighting on the side of Nato in Ukraine. Germany is becoming a totalitarian state, some are being imprisoned for make statements and posts that don't support the official narrative. This is not an exaggeration and can be verified easily online.
From having traveled a little in Germany, East and West, I can say that they take Nazi-ism very seriously. Can one blame them?
This is perhaps the most pitiful attempted herd-smear I've ever seen. Anyone who's paid even the slightest attention to Pink Floyd or Waters' work over the past 45 years would know that the "unhinged fascist demagogue" character that appears in The Wall is being condemned. Waters' own father was killed fighting the Nazis in Italy in 1944.
Waters is being attacked for his support of Palestine, his opposition to the Ukraine war and his support for the journalist and political prisoner Julian Assange.
Message to beer makers: Just make beer.
Message to baseball teams: Just play baseball.
Message to musicians: Just sing & play music.
Stop trying to push your ideological commentary on us. Whatever it is.
I believe there are two separate issues. Waters uses Nazi-like uniforms and decor based on the Wall to symbolize authoritarianism and suppression. It's a statement against them. His views on Israel's policies are a different issue which I agree, he 'sometimes' comes across as being anti-semitic even though he's criticizing Israel's politics not Judaism.
It's really, really, REALLY idiotic to do something like this in Germany. Every year there are quite a number of idiotic tourists landing in very hot water for mocking the Holocaust, immitating the nazi salute or do similarly stupid things. If you ever (idiotically) believed you have your "first ammendement and freedom of speech" rights in Germany you'll find out very soon just how far that freedom of speech extends.
He had it coming and should be prosecuted to the full extend of the laws he broke.
Like Prince Harry going to a party.
Any criticism of Israeli policies is dismissed as "anti-Semitism."
As a result, the term"anti-Semitism" has come to mean someone who opposes Israel's slaughter of Palestinian people's.
Nit the woke mob again who try to shut down people and see imaginary things that aren’t real. Aren’t they daft? These same complainers go bonkers if you misgender someone but they have no respect for free speech at all, in fact they only respect what they believe.
Hey Woke Mob, leave Roger alone.
Rock stars in Nazi uniform in Berlin firing a fake sub-gun with Anne Franks on the screen is acceptable but not performers at the Eurovision Song Contest.
Glad to see we are in agreement on this issue. Mr Waters is obviously a talented man who has had a huge following over the last few decades. Those that attend his shows will likely know about him and what the outfit he wears and props he uses signify. Yes, it’s not mindless pop for a one hut wonder, it’s too nuanced for the woke mob to understand and the first thing they jump in is shouting at Nazi, bigot, cancel him.
Whereas Eurovision is as shallow as a worms grave in all respect with no discernible talen on display. Sad but true that culture has become like this.
we are not in agreement. I don't think it was wise of Waters to wear a Nazi uniform In Berlin under a screenshot of Anne Franks. The wearing of any Nazi uniform is illegal in Germany.
Figures. This story is about him wearing a Nazi-style uniform on stage. Being a "great musician" and a lousy anti-Semitic person is OK with you?
Waters criticizes Israel's policies often overly harshly but that doesn't make him anti-semitic. Israel has gotten into the habit of equating any Israeli criticism as being anti-semitic. They're not the same.
Haven't listened to much music, Based? Until the more recent content-less stuff, it used to be full of commentary, religious, political, philosophical, social, and even used to raise our consciousness a bit. That was even a goal, shocking as it may seem. And Waters was certainly part of that. Your appeal, and wish, in fact, is well in line with the bland, don't-frighten-the-children stuff that is churned out of the record-company-captured mills.
I agree, there used to be so much social commentary in music, now the current bland dross we hear is mind numbing, factory produced trash with nothing much to say.
Any of you commenters know the lyrics to Barry McGuire's 1960s hit, 'Eve of Destruction'? Political commentary and music, especially rock music, have gone hand-in-hand for at least sixty years.
Waters is an infamous long time antisemite. His act has nothing to do with delivering a message.
It is pure hatred of Jews.
And he wants you to share in that hatred.
Oh don’t be silly. He criticises the government not Jewish people mate, you see
falseflagsteve - when the criticism if Israel is so one sided, so misinformed and so perverse for so long...
Its no longer about the government, you see.
Criticizing Israel's policies and wearing that Nazi-style uniform isn't the same either. That's why he's being investigated for incitement to hatred in GERMANY. Israel isn't the one investigating him.
MocheakeToday 03:47 pm JST
Those Nazi-style uniforms and other imagery were present in Pink Floyd's 1979 movie the Wall as well as several music videos for songs from the album. Did you get offended by them back in 1979 or did you realize that it was part of a message against, denouncing Fascism and Nazism. The Germans are overreacting and and being overly sensitive simply because the performance was in Germany. There was never a formal protest by the German government when the Wall with the same images was released in 1979. It's not about neo-Nazis wearing Nazi uniforms in a form of support for the Nazi movement. It's the opposite.
Well out old boy, a few people including me have mentioned similar, but we are living in what I call silly boy and silly girl world now. People look hard to find anything to be offended by. I mean look at this subject, a couple of minutes research would give a reason behind the uniform.
But it’s easier for them in their black and white world to rant and rave about, bigots, homophobes, racist etc. it’s the easy option isn’t it, no need to research or have a civil discussion, just label people, most of them innocent of that label and not forgetting their favourite way, get a hoard of people to try and cancel people.
How much trouble would young terrorized Palestinian girls get in if they posted photos of themselves with the caption, "I am Anne Frank"?
Quite irrelevant to what Mr Waters is doing you see. He’s comparing the still huge coverage of Ms Frank compared to zero of Palestinian children due to Israeli attacks.
Yes that's probably what he wants, so as to call attention to his message.
And we still don't know if he actually broke any law
Of course, anyone even remotely familiar with the situation know that Hamas use its own citizens homes, schools and mosques as launching points for their terrorist attacks.
Should any homes get destroyed, any mosques damaged, or any schoolchildren killed when Israel retaliates, Hamas is overjoyed.
They then parade the victims in front of the media so that the uninformed and flat out antisemites can scream in horror at the terrible Jews.
But you know this, you see.
I look at things without a bias and didn’t judge whether Mr Waters is correct doing his Anne Frank thing. I don’t care about the Palestinians or the Israelis really, not my fight. I merely stated what Mr Waters point is. Obviously you have an agenda judging how cross you come across with your last post.
5 minutes before this statement...
No, no bias whatsoever there at all, steve, you see.
Im stating what his opinions are and his opinion on this is correct. A simple search online for the subjects will show you which one garners the most media attention, so in fact he isn’t fibbing, lol
steve - so frothing-at-the-mouth Jews hunting down poor little Palestinian girls is the narrative we must believe.
Oh. And whatever Mr. Google decides is the narrative is the God's honest truth. Because Mr. Google doesn't suppress or censor.
So just to be clear. This has nothing to do with anti-semitism..... At all.
Regarding the usual suspects who have such a distorted opinion and view of Israel, I'm reminded of the incredible opening scene in Inglorious Basterds when Hans Landa describes the Jews.
"You don't like them. You don't really know why you don't like them. All you know is you find them repulsive."
Have you lost the plot my dear fellow. I never said I don’t like them, I just don’t care about them, same as I don’t about the whole word except for my friend and family and neighbourhood.
Where did you get this frothing at the mouth Jews hunting kiddies from, you just made that up. I don’t like Israeli gov amd i don’t like Hamas either, both religious nutjobs mostly.
So the Israeli government is no better than Hamas.
And you are certainly not an anti-semite.
Miles, that is my generation and although I was listening to hip hop living in the South Bronx in the late 70s, I knew about and liked Pink Floyd and my next-door neighbor played Another Brick in the Wall every damn day at full volume, but liking their songs is not the issue. You know that times have changed and also Germany is hyper-sensitve about these things. Some of the new people at my company get on me for my terminology and they are not even young. I have tried to change and in the same vein (sp?), Roger Waters has to realize that the imagery he is using is offensive to many. Remember, this is Germany getting on his case.
I never said it was. relax!
And your proof is?
This tweet is definitely an incitement to hatred.
Anyway his statement is clear:
And good that some sense still prevails: