A number of Jewish groups and city politicians gathered to protest Roger Waters‘ concert in Frankfurt on Sunday (May 28).
The Pink Floyd musician has faced numerous accusations of anti-semitism in recent months, also facing controversy over Nazi-style clothing worn at a recent gig in the German capital, which will now be investigated by Berlin police. It came after Waters provoked backlash after making a reference to Anne Frank at one of his earlier concerts in Germany.
Waters subsequently called the Berlin gig controversy a “smear” aiming to “silence me”, adding: “The elements of my performance that have been questioned are quite clearly a statement in opposition to fascism, injustice, and bigotry in all its forms.”
Roger Waters performs at Mediolanum Forum of Assago on March 31, 2023 in Milan, Italy CREDIT: by Sergione Infuso/Corbis via Getty Images
Back in April, the musician won a legal battle to play this weekend’s show in Frankfurt after it was initially cancelled over claims of anti-semitism.
The attempted cancellation notice reportedly cited Waters’ boycott of Israel – also known as the BDS campaign – talks with Hamas-affiliated media, comparisons of Israel to apartheid South Africa and anti-semitic imagery at shows.
There is also particular sensitivity surrounding the venue, which was used as a detention centre for some 3000 Jewish people before being deported to concentration camps in 1938.
“Against this historical background, the concert should not have taken place under any circumstances,” Sacha Stawski, a member of the Frankfurt Jewish community and head of the group Honestly Concerned, that helped organise the protests, told Associated Press.
Elio Adler, the head of the Jewish group WerteInitiative which supported the protest, told AP that it was “very frustrating” that the concert was going ahead despite efforts to prevent it.
Roger Waters. Credit: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images
Waters has repeatedly denied all accusations of anti-semitism and explained that his disdain is towards Israel, not Judaism. He also accused Israel of “abusing the term anti-semitism to intimidate people like me into silence”.
Last week, an MP also said that Waters should not perform in Manchester due to fears that his “divisive actions” could fuel anti-Jewish hatred.
The UK leg of his ‘This Is Not A Drill’ tour will arrive in the UK from May 31 and will make stops in Birmingham, Glasgow, London and Manchester.
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