ANPRoger Waters at his performance at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam last month
NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 10:10
Former Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters emphatically denies that he intended to incite hatred when he appeared on stage at a concert in Berlin wearing a costume that closely resembled a black leather Nazi uniform. He sees his performance, in which he also pointed a machine gun at the audience, as a clear stand against fascism.
The artist writes this on Twitter, hours after the police in Berlin had announced that they were conducting an investigation. According to the police, Waters’ uniform can be used to glorify or justify the Nazi regime, which is prohibited in Germany. “The clothes look like the clothes of an SS officer,” a police spokesman said earlier.
Footage shows Waters wearing a long leather uniform with a red Nazi-style armband for his performance at the Mercedes-Benz Arena. Where the Nazi bracelet was provided with a swastika, Waters’ bracelet featured two crossed hammers, symbolism that Pink Floyd has used since the release of Pink Floyd’s film The Wall in 1982. A balloon in the shape of a pig also floated with a Star of David on it.
During the show, images were also shown with the names of Anne Frank and Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead last year. It is precisely this combination of names that has gone down the wrong way in Israel – Waters is a well-known supporter of a boycott against Israel.
“Good morning to everyone except Roger Waters, who used the evening in Berlin (yes Berlin) to desecrate the memory of Anne Frank and the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust,” Israel’s Foreign Ministry wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
Waters doesn’t want to hear all the criticism of his appearance in Berlin last week. He believes his critics are acting in bad faith, wanting to silence him and smear his name because they disagree with his political views. “The elements of my performance that are now being questioned are clearly a stand against fascism, injustice and bigotry in all forms.”
The fierce reactions to Waters’ This Is Not A Drill tour in Germany are nothing new. Frankfurt even tried to ban his show, because he would have been anti-Semitic on his previous tour by showing the inflatable pig with Star of David, but according to the judge that was within Waters’ artistic freedom. It is expected that there will be a demonstration tomorrow in Frankfurt, at Waters’ last German show of the tour.
The artist therefore does not show himself to be a great fan of Germany, whose “those in power” he accuses of partly working “on behalf of the Israel lobby” when they accuse him of anti-Semitism. “Walking through Munich yesterday afternoon, I couldn’t help but feel like I was being watched by Big Brother. That leaves a bad taste,” he said earlier.
Waters: Ukraine provoked war
He has also been under fire for some time because of Waters’ views on the war in Ukraine. For example, he said in a speech at the United Nations that the Russian invasion had been provoked and wrote an open letter to President Zelensky’s wife Olena Zelenska warning of Ukrainian “extreme nationalists” who had “put the country on a path to disastrous war”. put. His performances were subsequently canceled in Poland.
All the commotion surrounding Waters, his views and his performances does not lead to much commotion in the Netherlands. The Israel Information and Documentation Center (CIDI) has asked concert organizer Mojo to keep a close eye on the concerts, but did not call for a boycott. CIDI director Naomi Mestrum called him “a disgusting man who shouts really insane things about Jews and about Israel”.