In Germany, the controversy swells. In the images posted on social networks showing Roger Waters in concert in Berlin, the singer appears wearing a long black coat marked with a symbol reminiscent of the swastika and red armbands during the concert, evoking an SS officer. The singer and composer used the name of Anne Frank, the young German Jew who died in a concentration camp.
“My recent concert in Berlin generated bad faith attacks from those who want to silence me because they disagree with my political views”reacted Roger Waters in a message published Friday evening on his Instagram and Twitter accounts. “Aspects of my concert that have been questioned are clearly a message against fascism, injustice and bigotry in all its forms” and any attempt to see something else in it “is dishonest”he added.
The Berlin police announced on Friday the opening of an investigation, following complaints, “on suspicion of incitement to hatred because the clothes worn on stage are likely to glorify or justify the National Socialist regime and disturb public order”according to a spokesperson.
Several media also mentioned inscriptions, in red letters on a screen during the concert, of the names of Anne Frank and Shireen Abu Akleh, Palestinian-American star journalist of the Al Jazeera channel killed during an Israeli raid in May 2022 .
“Unfortunately, the legal proceedings against him have so far turned in his favor – despite spreading anti-Semitism and being suspected of inciting hatred”, reacted on Saturday the German government delegate for the fight against anti-Semitism, Felix Klein, to the newspapers of the Funke group. He calls “to the vigilance of the police and justice” et “encourages other denunciations”.
The Berlin concert drew strong criticism in Israel. The Israeli Foreign Ministry thus criticized Waters on Wednesday for having “sullied the memory of Anne Frank and the six million murdered Jews” during the Holocaust. “Waters wants to compare Israel to the Nazis”, Israeli ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, protested on Twitter. He is “one of the greatest detractors of the Jews of our time”.
The ex-Pink Floyd, 79, has distinguished himself in recent years by taking a stand, in particular on the war in Ukraine. “It is not true that the Russian invasion of Ukraine was unprovoked”, he notably launched on February 8 before the UN Security Council where he had been invited by Russia to speak. He also defends actions to boycott Israeli products in the name of defending the Palestinian cause.
Frankfurt authorities canceled a concert by the British singer on Sunday, but the decision was overturned by an administrative court in the name of freedom of expression. A demonstration against the arrival of Roger Waters in the city is planned at the call of the local Jewish community and the Green party in particular. “Concert organizers should think twice before offering a stage to conspiracy theorists”judged for his part the German government official.
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