Roger Waters has shared a statement in which he calls the recent controversy over his Berlin gig a “smear” aiming to “silence” him.
The gig came after Waters provoked backlash after making a reference to Anne Frank at one of his earlier concerts in Germany, in which he wore an outfit that some deemed as having connotations to the Second World War.
This particular segment of the show revolved around a character from Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’, who imagines himself as a fictional fascist dictator during a hallucination. When playing the character, Waters donned a black trench coat and wore a red armband featuring two crossed hammers.
After Berlin police spokesperson Martin Halweg told The Guardian that “an investigation has been opened over the costume displayed at the concerts on 17 and 18 May,” Waters shared a statement on his Twitter account today (May 27) hitting back at the criticism and investigations.
— Roger Waters ✊ (@rogerwaters) May 26, 2023
Discussing how the gigs had “attracted bad faith attacks from those who want to smear and silence me because they disagree with my political views,” Waters said that anyone considering the gigs’ message to be anything but anti-fascist is “disingenuous and politically motivated”.
He added: “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 said.
“The depiction of an unhinged fascist demagogue has been a feature of my shows since Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’ in 1980.”
He added: “I have spent my entire life speaking out against authoritarianism and oppression where I set it… My parents fought the Nazis in World War II, with my father paying the ultimate price.
“Regardless of the consequences of the attacks against me, I will continue to condemn injustice and all those who perpetrate it.”
The show was part of the ongoing leg of Waters’ ‘This Is Not A Drill’ farewell tour, and was one of the two shows that were originally cancelled in the country following controversy regarding comments which many viewed as anti-semitic.
Waters has repeatedly denied all accusations of anti-semitism and explained that his disdain is towards Israel, not Judaism. He also accused Israel of “abusing the term anti-semitism to intimidate people like me into silence”.
Both shows were initially cancelled by the municipal government due to the musician’s views on Israel, before the decision was overturned.