Pink Floyd founder Roger Waters is facing backlash to imagery at his concert in Germany that some critics are calling "anti-Semitic." During his recent concert in Berlin, the controversial rocker was dressed in garb resembling a Nazi uniform, and there were comparisons of Anne Frank with George Floyd and a Palestinian journalist.
Waters' concert at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin last week has recently garnered attention after video clips were posted to social media.
The enormous screen at the concert highlighted numerous names during the show, including Anne Frank – the German girl who was forced to go into hiding because the Nazis were hunting down Jews.
Other names included U.S. victims of deadly police encounters, including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Philando Castile.
Also broadcast on the screen was Sophie Scholl, an anti-Nazi political activist murdered by the Nazis; Mahsa Amini, a protester who died in the custody of Iranian "morality police" under suspicious circumstances in 2022; and Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian journalist for Al Jazeera who was shot and killed during a firefight between Israel Defense Forces and Palestinian militants in the West Bank in 2022.
Also during the concert, Waters was dressed in a uniform that resembled that of a Nazi SS soldier. He is seen on video wielding a replica rifle and firing off rounds.
A large pig balloon floated over the crowd that reportedly had the logo of Elbit – an Israeli defense company.
On Wednesday, the Israeli Foreign Ministry wrote on Twitter, "Good morning to every one but Roger Waters who spent the evening in Berlin (Yes Berlin) desecrating the memory of Anne Frank and the 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust."
"Roger Waters compares the tragic death of a Palestinian journalist covering a firefight between Israeli forces & Palestinian militants to the death of Anne Frank who was led to the slaughter with over 6 million other Jews at the hands of the Nazis," said Ari Ingel – director at Creative Community for Peace, a self-described "non-profit entertainment industry organization comprised of prominent members of the entertainment community who have come together to promote the arts as a bridge to peace, to educate about rising antisemitism within the entertainment industry, and to galvanize support against the cultural boycott of Israel."
Waters' concert opened with a statement that read: "On a matter of public interest: a court in Frankfurt has ruled that I am not an anti-Semite. Just to be clear, I condemn antisemitism unreservedly."
At a concert in Belgium in 2013, Rogers also donned a Nazi-like uniform and had a floating pig with the Star of David emblazoned on it.
The Times of Israel reported in 2013:
Waters, who recently urged other performers to boycott Israel and compared Israel to apartheid South Africa, was singing on stage on July 20 under the balloon while toting a machine gun replica and wearing a long black leather jacket with a red-and-white arm band, reminiscent of a Nazi uniform. The former Pink Floyd member was singing “get him up against the wall, that one looks Jewish and that one’s a coon, who let all of this riff-raff into the room” – the lyrics of the song “In the Flesh.”
"In the Flesh" is from Pink Floyd's 1979 album "The Wall." The song is about a jaded rock star named "Pink," who "hallucinates himself as a Nazi-like dictator ordering his audience to attack ethnic minorities."
The song ends with Waters as Pink declaring, "If I had my way I'd have all of you shot!"
Waters – who turns 80 in September – is currently on his farewell tour, called "This Is Not a Drill."