Berlin police said on Friday they had opened an investigation into Roger Waters under suspicion of incitement by a costume worn by the Pink Floyd co-founder when he performed in the German capital last week.
Images on social media showed Waters firing a machine gun imitation while wearing a long black coat with a red bracelet (referring to the aesthetic of the movie The Wall, but also very similar to the uniform of the Nazi SS). Police confirmed that an investigation was opened on suspicion that the context of the costume could constitute a glorification, justification, or approval of the Nazi government and therefore a disturbance of the public peace.
True to his transgressive and provocative style, in a segment of the show he also included the names of activists murdered by the authorities of different countries, including the anti-Nazi activist sophie schol; the iranian Mahsa Amini, who was killed by the Tehran morality police; the african american George Floyd; and Anna Frankthe Jewish teenager murdered by the Nazi regime in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
Anne Frank’s name came right after that of Shireen Abu Akleh, a veteran Palestinian-American journalist who is believed to have been shot and killed last May by Israeli soldiers during a firefight with Palestinian militants.
Once the police investigation is concluded, the case will be handed over to Berlin prosecutors, who will decide whether to press charges.
Waters has drawn anger for his support of the BDS movement, which calls for boycotts and sanctions against Israel. He has rejected the accusations of anti-Semitism.
Frankfurt authorities tried to stop a concert there scheduled for May 28, but Waters successfully challenged that move in a local court. In Munich, the city council said it had explored the possibilities of ban a concert, but concluded that it was not legally possible to cancel a contract with the organizer. His appearance there on Sunday was accompanied by a protest attended by the leader of the local Jewish community.
Last year, the Polish city of Krakow canceled Waters’ concerts because of his pro-Russian stance in its war against Ukraine.
It is not the first time that Roger Waters has been involved in controversies around this subject. Already on a tour that he made between 2010 and 2013 he had included a balloon in the shape of a pig on the stage, on which, among other symbols, was a star of David.
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Roger Waters caused outrage for allusions to the Holocaust at a show in Berlin