Berlin police investigate Roger Waters for Nazi-like outfit
Police in Berlin launched an investigation Friday into former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters after the musician wore a Nazi-like uniform during a show in the German city last week.
Images from the 79-year-old’s concert in Berlin on May 17 show him wearing a trench coat with red armbands and carrying an imitation machine gun. The outfit also included a swastika-like emblem made of two crossed hammers.
Now the singer and bassist is being investigation for suspected “incitement of the people,” with a police spokesperson saying his costume “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.”
Nazi symbols are prohibited in Germany. Following the investigation, Berlin prosecutors will decide whether to pursue charges.
Social media users, meanwhile, have argued that Waters — who drew ire this year with his comments about the Russia-Ukraine war — was recreating scenes from Pink Floyd’s 1982 film “The Wall,” a satirical critique of fascism, in which Bob Geldof wore a similar costume.
In April, Waters won a legal battle to perform his May 28 show in Frankfurt, Germany, after city authorities objected to imagery he used in previous shows.
Magistrates working on behalf of Frankfurt called Waters “one of the most widely known antisemites in the world,” as The Guardian reported at the time. However, the city’s administrative court gave his show the green light, saying his performance should be “viewed as a work of art” despite “symbolism manifestly based on that of the National Socialist regime.” The court concluded that Waters’ performance “did not glorify or relativize the crimes of the Nazis or identify with Nazi racist ideology.”
Before Waters’ shows in Berlin on May 17 and 18, he reportedly displayed a message referencing that Frankfurt decision.
“The show will start in 10 minutes and a court in Frankfurt has ruled that I am not an antisemite… just to be clear, I condemn antisemitism unreservedly,” the message read, according to Billboard.
With News Wire Services