Roger Waters condemns 'disingenuous' attacks after criticism of Nazi-style costume at Berlin concert

Roger Waters, a founding member of Pink Floyd, is speaking out after receiving backlash — and becoming the subject of a German police investigation — for wearing a costume that resembled a Nazi uniform during two recent concerts in Berlin.

The musician, who is currently on his "This Is Not A Drill" farewell tour, denounced the "bad faith attacks" that have been made against him by those aiming to "smear and silence me because they disagree with my political views and moral principles" in a statement on social media on Friday.

"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," he wrote. "Attempts to portray those elements as something else are disingenuous and politically motivated."

Waters donned the costume and fired a dummy machine gun at the crowd while performing Pink Floyd's 1979 song "In the Flesh," which centers around a rock star who envisions themself as a fascist dictator. As the New York Times notes, the names of both Anne Frank and Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed last year, were displayed onscreen during the event. The concert has since sparked a criminal investigation by Berlin police "for fulfilling the offense of incitement to hatred," per CNN.

In his statement, Waters, who has worn the satirical outfit for decades, said that "the depiction of an unhinged fascist demagogue has been a feature of my shows since Pink Floyd's 'The Wall' in 1980." Fans also pointed out that similar outfits were featured in the band's 1982 film Pink Floyd — The Wall.

"I have spent my entire life speaking out against authoritarianism and oppression wherever I see it," Waters said. "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. My parents fought the Nazis in World War II, with my father paying the ultimate price."

He concluded, "Regardless of the consequences of the attacks against me, I will continue to condemn injustice and all those who perpetrate it."

Roger Waters
Roger Waters

Rick Kern/Getty Roger Waters

Waters is a proponent of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions ("BDS") movement, which calls for boycotts and sanctions against Israel, and has generated controversy over his remarks about the country over the years. He has repeatedly denied being anti-Semitic.

Still, his concert in Frankfurt was nearly canceled earlier this year over claims of anti-Semitism. He is still scheduled to perform the show on May 28, according to his website.

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