Roger Waters has posted a lengthy statement on social media after imagery from his Berlin concert caused a stir.
The statement follows news that Berlin police are investigating the former Pink Floyd frontman for his use of Nazi imagery during his concert on May 17. Videos posted to social media showed the musician dressed up in a black trenchcoat with a red armband, with a caption describing Waters’ as ‘imitating a Nazi.’
“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,” the statement from Waters begins. “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 whenever I see it,” Waters continues.
“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.”
Berlin police are investigating the performer on suspicion of “incitement of the people.” Investigators believe the costume used during the show was “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 spaces.”
Roger Waters has often dressed up as a jack-booted thug on stage in his depiction of Nazi imagery. Other cities across Germany, including Munich, Frankfurt, and Cologne attempted to cancel Waters’ performances. Waters even sued the city of Frankfurt to stop the ban on his performance from being upheld.