Roger Waters is addressing widespread backlash he’s received after wearing a Nazi-like uniform during his recent concerts in Berlin.
On Friday (May 26), the Pink Floyd co-founder shared a statement on social media about his controversial May 17-18 shows at Berlin’s Mercedes-Benz Arena, which have prompted an investigation by German police.
“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 his statement, which was posted on Twitter.
“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. Attempts to portray those elements as something else are disingenuous and politically motivated.”
During his Berlin shows, Waters wore a costume reminiscent of a Nazi SS soldier’s uniform — a long black coat with a red armband — while pointing a fake rifle at the crowd. In his statement, the singer/bassist said that the “depiction of an unhinged fascist demagogue” has been featured in his past live performances since the release of the 1980 film The Wall.
Following the concerts, Berlin police opened an investigation of Waters on suspicion of incitement over the Nazi-style uniform. Authorities said the costume could constitute glorification, justification or approval of Nazi rule and therefore a disturbance of the public peace, the Associated Press reports.
“I have spent my entire life speaking out against authoritarianism and oppression wherever I see it,” Waters wrote in reaction. “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.”
Waters concluded his statement, writing, “Regardless of the consequences of the attacks against me, I will continue to condemn injustice and all those who perpetrate it.”
See Waters’ full statement on Twitter below.