Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters is under investigation by German police for wearing a Nazi-style uniform at a recent concert in Berlin.
“An investigation has been opened over the costume displayed at the concerts on 17 and 18 May,” Berlin police chief Martin Halweg noted.
Displaying symbols of Nazi rule, including the swastika or SS insignia, is illegal in Germany, with exemptions for educational purposes and in artistic contexts.
The concert in question took place on May 17 at the Mercedes-Benz Arena. Waters wore an SS-style uniform during his performance of “In the Flesh.” His attire included a long leather jacket, gloves and a seemingly Nazi-inspired red armband, which featured a crossed-hammers symbol, rather than a swastika.
“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,” Halweg noted.
“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,” he added. “After the conclusion of the investigation, the case will be forwarded to the Berlin Public Prosecutor’s Office for legal assessment.”
In a statement posted on Twitter, Waters described the controversy as a “smear” aiming to “silence” him.
“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,” Waters said. “Attempts to portray those elements as something else are disingenuous and politically motivated.”
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