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German Police Are Investigating Roger Waters For ‘Suspicion Of Incitement’

Waters is said to have donned a uniform resembling that of a Nazi officer at May 17 show in Berlin
Photo: Angel Marchini / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

Former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters is now the subject of a criminal investigation for suspected incitement by authorities in Berlin, stemming from his This Is Not a Drill concert on May 17. During it, Waters donned a uniform said to have resembled that of a Nazi officer. The outfit was worn by Bob Geldof in the 1982 film version of The Wall.

The Jewish News quoted Berlin police chief inspector Martin Halweg as confirming that “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). 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. After the conclusion of the investigation, the case will be forwarded to the Berlin Public Prosecutor’s Office for legal assessment.”

Long challenged for his views on the Israel/Palestine conflict, Waters is scheduled to play in Germany again on Sunday (May 28), and members of the Jewish community are organizing protests outside Frankfurt’s Festhalle.

In a statement on his website written before the Berlin incident, he wrote, “Roger Waters stands United with the Frankfurt Jewish community, in that he too abhors anti-semitism along with all other forms of racism and discrimination.”

In the same statement, he reiterated, “I am not anti-semitic. Never have been, never will be. I speak the truth about Israel/Palestine. The Israel/Palestine issue is NOT complicated. In contravention of all international law, the apartheid state of Israel engages in building settlements in territory occupied by military force, territory designated by the U.N. for a Palestinian state, and is committed to the ethnic cleansing of the non-Jewish indigenous population.”

Following an interview with a German newspaper, Waters became embroiled in a related war of words with his former bandmate David Gilmour and his wife Polly Samson earlier this year, with the latter calling him “antisemitic to your rotten core. Also a Putin apologist and a lying, thieving, hypocritical, tax-avoiding, lip-synching, misogynistic, sick-with-envy, megalomaniac. Enough of your nonsense.”

In response, Waters threatened legal action, but no further developments are known.