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Friday, June 2, 2023

Former Pink Floyd singer Roger Waters at the heart of an investigation in Germany

His positions on the war in Ukraine or on Israel regularly arouse controversy. Currently touring Europe, co-founder Pink FloydRoger Waters, is under investigation for “suspicion of incitement to hatred” in Germany. During a concert in the country on May 17, the septuagenarian had notably sported an outfit evoking an SS officer.

“Clothes worn on stage are likely to glorify or justify the National Socialist regime and disturb the public peace”, Berlin police spokesman Martin Halweg told Agence France Presse (AFP) on Friday. During this concert, in the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin, the singer was dressed in a long black coat and red armbands. In red letters, names paraded including that by Anne Frank and of Shireen Abu Akleh, Palestinian-American star journalist of the Al Jazeera channel killed in an Israeli raid in May 2022.

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“Unfortunately, the legal proceedings against him have so far turned out in his favor – althoughhe spreads anti-Semitism and that he is suspected of incitement to hatred”, reacted the delegate for the fight against anti-Semitism, Felix Klein, to the newspapers of the Funke group. But “I appeal to the vigilance of the police and justice and I encourage other denunciations”, he added. The police investigation is ongoing. Once this is over, the prosecution can then initiate any proceedings.

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“One of the greatest critics of the Jews of our time”

The concert and the images broadcast on the networks caused an uproar in israel. The Foreign Office on Wednesday criticized Waters for having “stained the memory of Anne Frank and the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust”. “Waters wants to compare Israel to the Nazis”. He is “one of the greatest detractors of the Jews of our time”, reacted on Twitter the Israeli ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon.

At 79, Roger Waters is a regular in controversy. On February 8, before the UN Security Council, the singer declared: “It is not true that the Russian invasion of Ukraine was unprovoked”. In the name of defending the Palestinian cause, he also defends actions to boycott Israeli products.

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The singer is expected in Frankfurt on May 28 for a new concert. The local authorities tried to prevent the event from taking place, before the administrative court ruled otherwise in the name of freedom of expression. A demonstration is planned at the call of the local Jewish community and the Greens party in particular.

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