Police in Berlin have opened an investigation into the Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters, over a Nazi-style uniform he wore in a recent concert on May 17 and 18.
Displaying symbols of Nazi rule, including the swastika or SS insignia, is illegal in Germany, with exemptions for educational purposes and in artistic contexts.
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.
The protagonist Pink from The Wall hallucinates that he is a fascist dictator.
The routine has been part of Waters performances for the past 30 years. This is the first time the German police have launched a criminal investigation regarding the performance.
Waters is being investigated for suspected incitement to hatred.
”The State Security Department at the Berlin State Criminal Police Office has initiated a criminal investigation procedure regarding the suspicion of incitement of the people (140 Paragraph 4 of the German criminal Code),” a statement by Berlin police sent to CNN reads.
”The context of the clothing worn is deemed capable of approving, glorifying or justifying the violent and arbitrary rule of the Nazi regime in a manner that violates the dignity of the victims and thereby disrupts public peace,” the statement went on to say.
”After the conclusion of the investigation, the case will be forwarded to the Berlin Public Prosecutor’s Office for legal assessment,” the police statement ended.CNN
Waters has consistently denied that he is antisemitic. In his May 20 statement, the singer said he visited the graves of anti-Nazi activists Sophie and Hans Scholl while on tour in Munich last week.
In an interview with podcaster Katie Halper posted online on May 6, Waters said: “I can be allowed to do a show because it’s theater darling. The idea that no one can dress up in a f**king Nazi uniform ever, to do anything, in a theater or a film, is ludicrous, obviously.”