Roger Waters faces backlash after referencing Anne Frank at show in Berlin
Waters also reportedly pretended to fire a rifle during his set, and wore an outfit that some are alluding was similar to an SS uniform.
Image: Raphael Dias / Getty
Roger Waters has sparked more controversy, after displaying Anne Frank’s name and wearing an outfit that people reminiscent of a Nazi uniform whilst on stage in Berlin.
During the show, and the former Pink Floyd bassist reportedly pretended to fire a rifle during part of his set, and wore an outfit similar to an SS officer’s uniform.
The set during the show also displayed the names of Anne Frank, a German-born Jewish girl who became known for keeping a diary as her and her family hid from Nazi soldiers during World War II, and Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian journalist who was shot dead whilst working to cover Israel’s operation in the West Bank last year, were shown on screen. The comparison sparked negative press from various news outlets, as well as the Israel Foreign Ministry: “Good morning to everyone 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 stated in a Tweet.
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. pic.twitter.com/4tcrV6f8mt
— Israel ישראל 🇮🇱 (@Israel) May 24, 2023
Some, however, shared a belief that the references were intended to be an “anti-fascist” statement – stating that the costume is not a new addition to the show, and raising how The Wall – both the film and Water’s live performance of it – satirically use fascist imagery.
He does this every show. The song is satire. Waters and Pink Floyd were criticizing fascism with the song. You’d know that if you weren’t purposefully being a dishonest hack
— Eduardo Neret (@eduneret) May 24, 2023
According to The Jerusalem Post, At the beginning of the show, an announcement was displayed on a screen reading, “On a matter of public interest: a court in Frankfurt has ruled that I am not an antisemite,” which the publication reported sparked applause from the crowd. “Just to be clear, I condemn antisemitism unreservedly,” it also said.
The show was part of his This Is Not A Drill tour. Back in February, Waters’ Frankfurt date for the run of shows was originally cancelled.
Frankfurt’s municipal government announced the cancellations in a statement, citing Waters’ support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, antisemitic imagery at his shows and past interviews with media affiliated with the Hamas terror group as reasons for axing the concerts. The decision was eventually overturned.