Roger Waters Permitted to Perform in Frankfurt After Cancellation
He will now be allowed to perform his scheduled show at Frankfurt's Festhelle on May 28.
In an earlier statement, the city council described the Pink Floyd co-founder as "one of the world's most well-known antisemites," citing his boycott of Israel, his comparisons of Israel to apartheid South Africa and his previous use of a pig-shaped balloon emblazoned with the Star of David on his tours as reasoning for the decision. It also noted the significance of the Festhalle venue, which, in 1938, was used to detain 3,000 Jewish men.
A subsequent statement from Waters' management described the actions as "unconstitutional, without justification and based upon the false accusation that Roger Waters is antisemitic, which he is not," and noted that his lawyers would be addressing the matter.
An administrative court in Frankfurt has now ruled that Waters may proceed with his performance. Even though the court reportedly described some of Waters' displays as "tasteless" [via The Guardian], it stated that his show “did not glorify or relativize the crimes of the Nazis or identify with Nazi racist ideology" and that it should be viewed as a "work of art" that is entitled to freedom of artistic expression. (Germany maintains strict national laws against the display and dissemination of Nazi propaganda and symbolism.)
Some have expressed disappointment with the decision. Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, an organization that previously praised the city for canceling the show, lamented "that a display of symbols based on National Socialism should have no legal consequences."
Waters is scheduled to perform across Europe and the U.K. until June, including five other performances in the German cities of Hamburg, Cologne, Berlin and Munich.