Roger Waters prompts investigation after wearing SS officer uniform

Roger Waters performs onstage at Arena on September 27, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

OAN’s Geraldyn Berry
3:28 PM – Friday, May 26, 2023

Following his appearance in an SS uniform during a concert last week in the German capital, Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters was the subject of an inquiry, Berlin police announced on Friday.


“We are investigating on suspicion of incitement to public hatred because the clothing worn on stage could be used to glorify or justify Nazi rule, thereby disturbing the public peace,” Berlin Police spokesman Martin Halweg said.

In Germany, displaying symbols of Nazi rule, including the swastika or SS insignia, is illegal. The only exceptions are for educational purposes and in artistic contexts.

It is unlawful to insult the human dignity of “national, racial, religious groups or a group defined by their ethnic origins,” according to the legal notion of “incitement of the people,” which was applied to prosecutions involving Holocaust denial in Germany.

Halweg claims that the clothing Waters wore was similar to that of a SS officer uniform.

“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,” Halweg said.

According to local media, during Waters’ performance on May 17th at Germany’s Mercedes-Benz Arena, a screen displayed the words, “The show will start in 10 minutes and a court in Frankfurt has ruled that I am not an antisemite. Just to be clear, I condemn antisemitism without reservation.”

The performer appeared on stage resembling the character Pink from the rock opera The Wall during a performance of the song “In the Flesh.” There, Waters wore a black leather trench coat with a red armband bearing two Third Reich-style banners with crossed hammers instead of a swastika and a rifle. Behind him, an inflatable pig floated above the crowd with again, Third Reich-style banners with crossed hammers instead of swastikas. 

Additionally, displays showed the names of a number of people who were allegedly slain by state actors, including Mahsa Amini, an Iranian lady whose death while in the custody of the “morality police” prompted widespread demonstrations, anti-Nazi campaigner Sophie Scholl, and George Floyd. 

The State of Israel took offense to Water’s performance style and took to Twitter to share their thoughts.

This comes as in the past, Waters has come under fire and criticism for remarks that some have deemed to be antisemitic insults on both Israel and Judaism. In 2013, Waters pulled out a similar prank by donning a Nazi armband, brandishing a toy machine gun, and utilizing a balloon in the shape of a pig that carried the Star of David and emblems of other autocratic governments.

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