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Waters projection (at a concert in 2013): imagery that »trivializes the Holocaust«?

Photo: Simela Pantzartzi / dpa

After the scandal surrounding a concert by Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters in Berlin, the US government has also accused the musician of using anti-Semitic symbols. The U.S. State Department said Tuesday that the May concert contained imagery "that is deeply hurtful to Jews and trivializes the Holocaust." In his career, Waters repeatedly used "anti-Semitic imagery to denigrate Jews."

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Waters on his 2023 tour of Germany: "Malicious attacks"

Photo: Angelika Warmuth / dpa

The 79-year-old singer had performed at a concert in Berlin in May in a long black leather coat and a red armband. The police are therefore now investigating for incitement to hatred. The clothing was similar to that of an SS officer, a police spokesman said.

Waters himself dismissed the criticism as "malicious attacks." His critics wanted to "slander and silence him because they disagree with my political views and moral principles." The criticized elements of his concert are to be understood as a clear sign against fascism and injustice.

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The first voice from the U.S. government to respond to Waters' appearances was the Special Representative for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism, Deborah Lipstadt. In a tweet at the end of May, she joined "the condemnation of Roger Waters and his Holocaust distortions," which she saw in a statement by the EU Commission's anti-Semitism commissioner, Katharina von Schnurbein.

In the regular press briefing on Tuesday, Vedant Patel, the spokesman for the US State Department, was asked about the tweet. Patel replied that he didn't know it, and he didn't know the Pink Floyd album and the accompanying film "The Wall". They will look into the matter and comment on it later. Subsequently, the State Department sent an e-mail to U.S. press representatives in which it backed Lipstadt's statements.

Waters is known as a critic of Israel and has repeatedly been accused of anti-Semitism. The British musician also attracted criticism with statements about the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. The city of Frankfurt had tried to cancel a concert of the singer. Waters took legal action against the cancellation and was successful.