Rock musician Roger Waters ended his successful tour of Germany with a concert in Frankfurt on May 28. While tens of thousands of fans cheered him on, politicians and the media organized an unprecedented witch-hunt. All parties represented in the Bundestag (federal parliament), from the Left Party to the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), and the majority of the media participated. No slander was too inappropriate, no lie too absurd to be hurled at the 79-year-old co-founder of the band Pink Floyd.

Waters, who has made a name for himself not only as a brilliant musician, but also as an unyielding fighter against injustice, oppression, war and fascism, was denounced as a “Jew-hater” and his concert as a “breach of civilization” (Frankfurt Mayor Mike Josef, Social Democratic Party, SPD). Until now, the Holocaust was described as a “breach of civilization” in Germany. Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon denounced Waters as “one of the greatest Jew-haters of our time.”

Waters repeatedly asserted that he was not an anti-Semite, but an opponent of every form of racism and oppression. However, the attacks against him became louder. A court ruling in his favour in Frankfurt, after the city and state government tried to ban his concert, did not deter his opponents.

The lies and distortions took on Kafkaesque traits. For example, public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk published a commentary by Sebastian Engelbrecht: “Deciphering an anti-Semitic worldview.” He exposes the call “Resist capitalism! Resist Fascism! Resist the war!,” which is displayed during Waters’ show, as “fascist demagogy.” His proof: “Waters offers the grossest simplifications as we know them from right-wing populists.” According to this incredible logic, you can also “decipher” white as black and black as white.

The Berlin police even officially started an investigation against Waters based on suspicion of incitement, which was greedily exploited by the media. Waters’ stage attire, according to police suspicions, violates the dignity of victims of National Socialism and glorifies Nazi rule.

The “suspicion” of the police refers to the leather coat Waters wears during the song “In the Flesh,” in which he represents a crazy fascist demagogue. Waters has been performing this song for 43 years. It’s from Pink Floyd’s rock opera The Wall. In the film The Wall, musician Bob Geldof—now Sir Bob Geldof—took the role. In these 43 years, no one had ever thought that the song, which is directed against all forms of fascism, injustice and bigotry, was glorifying the Nazis rather than denouncing them. Only the Berlin police and their political patrons managed to reach this conclusion.

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