The court in Frankfurt has ruled that Roger Waters will be able to play a concert at the Frankfurt Festhalle, media reports. The cancellation of the performance of the former Pink Floyd musician wanted m. city government. Christoph Heubner, vice-president of the International Auschwitz Committee, called the court’s decision “regrettable”.
The authorities of Frankfurt and the state of Hesse wanted to cancel a concert scheduled for May 28, in connection with allegations of anti-Semitism by Waters, which the artist has consistently denied. As the Guardian recalls, they argued that during his previous tour, a balloon in the shape of a pig with the Star of David and various company logos was shown on stage. In addition, the performance is to take place at the Frankfurt Festhalle, where “over 3,000 Jews were detained and mistreated during the pogroms in 1938, who were then deported,” ZDF noted. The musician appealed to the Administrative Court in Frankfurt, which agreed with him and on Monday ruled that the city and the state had no right to cancel the concert at the Frankfurt Festhalle.
The court agreed with Roger Waters
In its ruling, the court referred to artistic freedom, noting that the concert should be seen as a “work of art”.
“Roger Waters, during his stage show, obviously uses symbolism modeled on the National Socialist regime. Against the historical background of the hall, this stage show can therefore be assessed as extremely distasteful” – admitted the court, quoted by PAP. He stressed, however, that “Water’s performance does not glorify or relativize National Socialist atrocities, and does not identify with National Socialist racial ideology,” a court spokeswoman explained.
Court decision causes ‘great concern’
The court’s decision was criticized by the International Auschwitz Committee, which called it “regrettable”, the Guardian reported on Tuesday. MKO vice-chairman Christoph Heubner said that “not only the Jews who survived the German concentration and extermination camps are saddened, confused and increasingly disappointed.” He added that “the encroachment of anti-Semitism from different directions” is a cause for “great concern.”
President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany Josef Schuster, in turn, admitted that he was “surprised” by the court’s decision.
Waters denies and denies the allegations
After the authorities in Frankfurt and the state of Hessen demanded the cancellation of a concert scheduled for May 28, Waters denied accusations of anti-Semitism and cited freedom of speech. The planned appearances of the co-founder of Pink Floyd in several German cities have been subject to criticism for months. The city of Munich wanted to cancel the concert, but at the end of March it was decided that there was no legal way to ban the event and terminate the contract with the organizer.
Over the past year, Waters’s stance on Russia’s aggression on Russia has also stirred controversy Ukraine . In September 2022 the musician published on Facebook an open letter to the first lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, in which he appealed to her to “end the slaughter”. In his entry, he repeated the Kremlin narrative that her husband, the president Volodymyr Zelensky, is a tool in the hands of “authoritarian, anti-democratic forces of extreme nationalism.” Waters was supposed to perform in Krakow in 2023, however, his concert was cancelled.
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