Roger Waters has defended himself against a “smear” campaign that accused the singer of wearing a “Nazi-style” outfit during his recent concert in Berlin, which subsequently prompted a police investigation.

“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,” Waters wrote in a statement Friday.

The “Nazi-style” costume in question was inspired by the uniform that featured prominently in the 1980 film The Wall, and at both Pink Floyd and Waters concerts in the decades that followed.

Waters had worn similar suits, which has the album’s signature “marching hammers” in place of the swastika, while performing The Wall songs at least 10 times in Germany — most notably, an all-star 1990 concert in Berlin that was released as a concert film — with no previous issues.

However, following this week’s Berlin concert, police chief inspector Martin Halweg stated, “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… 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 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 continued. “Attempts to portray those elements as something else are disingenuous and politically motivated.”

Given the controversy surrounding Waters’ alleged antisemitic and pro-Putin remarks in recent years, Waters’ This Is Not a Drill tour in Europe has faced additional scrutiny at nearly every stop, with some cities — like Frankfurt, Germany, and potentially Manchester, England — canceling the scheduled concerts due to Waters’ actions and comments.

Another point of issue at the Berlin show was an out-of-context photo of the name of “Anne Frank” shown on the concert’s video screen, which some people — perhaps unaware that Frank’s name appeared alongside many other notable victims of war — found offensive. (That segment, like The Wall suit, has featured at every Waters’ tour stop prior to the Berlin show.)


“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,” Waters, who was five months old when his father was killed in World War II, wrote. “My parents fought the Nazis in World War II, with my father paying the the ultimate price.”

“I have spent my entire life speaking out against authoritarianism and oppression wherever I see it,” Waters wrote. “Regardless of the consequences of the attacks against me, I will continue to condemn injustice and all those who perpetrate it.”


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