ROGER WATERS Releases Statement In Response To Nazi Costume Accusations
May 27, 2023
Roger Waters has defended himself against criticism over his concerts last week in Berlin during which the former PINK FLOYD leader displayed Nazi-like symbolism and made what some people have described as offensive comments about Holocaust victim Anne Frank.
During the shows at Mercedes Benz Arena, Waters appeared on stage as the character Pink from the rock opera "The Wall" during a performance of the song "In The Flesh", wearing a black leather trench coat with a red armband bearing two crossed hammers instead of a swastika.
It was later reported that Waters was under investigation for possible incitement by German police, in addition to possibly having committed trademark abuse for the use of Frank's name without the consent of the Anne Frank Foundation, which has trademarked the name.
Waters projected Frank's name on a giant screen during the shows, along with several other names of contemporary figures including George Floyd and Shireen Abu Akleh.
"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 wrote in a statement on Friday (May 26).
"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 II, 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."
The Simon Wiesenthal Center criticized the Berlin concerts and asked that German authorities prosecute Waters for invoking and distorting Holocaust images.
"Shame on Frankfurt authorities and Mercedes Benz arena in Berlin — a place from where Jews were deported by the Nazis — for providing anti-Semite #RogerWaters this venue for his concert with no concern/care for the Jewish community," the center tweeted.
Berlin police spokesperson Martin Halweg later told The Guardian that police in Germany have launched a criminal investigation into Waters over the Nazi-style uniform he wore at the Berlin shows.
While Nazi uniforms, flags and other symbols are banned in Germany, Waters is reportedly being investigated under a separate law of "incitement of the people."
BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).