Roger Waters Fires Back Over Nazi-Like Costume Investigation
Roger Waters accused authorities in Germany of launching “bad faith attacks” against him, after it was announced he was being investigated for events during his show in Berlin on May 17.
The former Pink Floyd leader was seen on stage wearing an outfit similar to a Nazi uniform, complete with the red and black insignia associated with the band’s 1980 album The Wall and its accompanying movie. It’s illegal to invoke Nazi imagery in Germany, which is the reason the State Security Department at the Berlin State Criminal Police Office launched an investigation.
“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,” Waters said in a statement. “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.”
He continued: “The depiction of an unhinged fascist demagogue has been a feature of my shows since Pink Floyd’s The Wall… I have spent my entire life speaking out against authoritarianism and oppression wherever I see it.”
Among the names of victims of fascism screened during the show was Anne Frank, the Jewish girl whose diary leading up to her execution by Nazis remains an icon of antisemitic evidence. “When I was a child after the war, the name of Anne Frank was often spoken in our house,” Waters said. “[S]he became a permanent reminder of what happens when fascism is left unchecked. My parents fought the Nazis in World War II, with my father paying the ultimate price.”
He concluded: “Regardless of the consequences of the attacks against me, I will continue to condemn injustice and all those who perpetrate it.”