Roger Waters under investigation by German police for wearing Nazi-style uniform

Displaying Nazi symbols, flags and uniforms is illegal in Germany


NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 30: Roger Waters performs at Madison Square Garden on August 30, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters is under investigation by German police over a Nazi-style uniform he wore at a recent concert in Berlin. 

In a video he posted on social media, Rogers, 79, appears on stage in a black leather trench coat with a red armband with two crossed hammers. 

Displaying Nazi symbols, flags and uniforms is illegal in Germany where Waters is being investigated on suspicion of “incitement of the people.” 

The costume Waters wore is “deemed capable of violating the dignity of the victims, as well as approving, glorifying or justifying the violent and arbitrary rule of the Nazi regime in a way that disrupts public peace,” a police spokesperson said.  

During the concert at Berlin’s Mercedes Benz Arena on May 17, the musician also fired a fake machine gun into the crowd. 

Waters said his portrayal of “an unhinged fascist demagogue” had been part of his performances since his 1979 album The Wall. 

The veteran musician has previously claimed the ‘Jewish lobby’ is ‘extraordinarily powerful’ in America, has repeatedly compared Israel to Nazi Germany, and – at a 2013 show – flew a balloon shaped like a pig branded with the Star of David.  

Last Sunday, he performed a concert in Frankfurt that city magistrates had tried to cancel accusing him of being “one of the most widely known antisemites in the world.” Waters, who has always denied accusations of antisemitism, took legal action the decision and won.  

In a statement on Twitter addressing the controversy, Waters said: "My recent performance in Berlin has attracted bad faith attacks from those who want to smear and silence me because they disagree with my 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. 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 Il, with my father paying the ultimate price.

"Regardless of the consequences of the attacks against me, I will continue to condemn injustice and all those who perpetrate it."

Roger Waters has been contacted for comment.

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