British rocker Roger Waters defended himself Friday after German police launched an investigation into the Pink Floyd co-founder over the Nazi-style costume he wore to a concert in Berlin last week.
“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,” said Berlin police spokesman Martin Halweg.
Waters donned a long black coat, black gloves and black sunglasses — complete with a red armband — during a portion of his May 17 performance in which he fired an imitation machine gun at the crowd while flanked by men dressed in military regalia.
“The clothing resembles the clothing of an SS officer,” Halweg said.
The 79-year-old defended his costume choice and said that it was a clear statement “in opposition to fascism, injustice, bigotry in all its forms.”
“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,” he said in a statement.
“Attempts to portray those elements as something else are disingenuous and politically motivated. The depiction of an unhinged fascist demagogue has been a feature of my shows since Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” in 1980.”
Scores of Twitter users rushed to lambast the rocker, including the state of Israel.
“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,” it wrote.
Other German cities including Munich, Frankfurt and Cologne tried to cancel Waters’ concerts after Jewish groups accused him of anti-Semitism for his support of Palestine.
Earlier this year, the city of Frankfurt called Waters “one of the world’s most well known antisemites,” according to Billboard.
The “Wish You Were Here” singer rejected the accusations Friday and claimed he was using his platform to stand against “authoritarianism and oppression.”
“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 said.
“Regardless of the consequences of the attacks against me, I will continue to condemn injustice and all those who perpetuate it.”
The efforts to halt his performances across Germany were unsuccessful — the final tour date in the country is scheduled for May 28 in Frankfurt.
With Post wires
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