Waters, 79, has said the performance last
month, during which he wore a black trench coat with a
swastika-like emblem, was a statement against fascism, injustice
and bigotry and called criticism of it "disingenuous and
Berlin police said they were investigating Waters on suspicion
of "incitement of the people." Critics online included U.S.
Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Deborah
Lipstadt, who called the concert "Holocaust distortion" and
amplified a tweet denouncing Waters by the European Commission's
coordinator on combating antisemitism.
In comments sent by email and not attributed to a named
official, the State Department stood by Lipstadt's comment, and
said Waters' Berlin concert "contained imagery that is deeply
offensive to Jewish people and minimized the Holocaust."
"The artist in question has a long track record of using
antisemitic tropes to denigrate Jewish people," the department
The department did not respond to follow up questions, including
whether officials had viewed the concert and in what form, and
did not give examples of Waters' alleged use of antisemitic
Images from the May 17 concert showed the famed singer and bass
player aiming an imitation machine gun into the audience as he
recreated scenes from a film based on Pink Floyd's hit 1979
album "The Wall", a critique of fascism.
Waters said on Twitter the depiction of "an unhinged fascist
demagogue" had been a feature of his shows since "The Wall."
Waters, who supports the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and
Sanctions Movement that targets Israel over its occupation of
territories where Palestinians seek statehood, is a vociferous
critic of U.S. foreign policy, and spoke at the UN Security
Council earlier this year at Russia's invitation.
(Reporting by Simon Lewis; Editing by Marguerita Choy)
(Photo: Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters performs during his
This Is Not a Drill tour at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles,
California, U.S., September 27, 2022. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File
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