Roger Waters To German Fans: ‘Have You Lost Your Minds?’

On Tuesday (January 16), Roger Waters shared an open letter to the people of Germany about the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine. He captioned the video letter:

“Did you exchange a walk-on part in the war for a lead role in a cage? I thought we all agreed ‘never again.’ Here is a letter I wrote to the good people of Germany in May 2019 after the Bundestag wrongly declared BDS anti-Semitic.”

Roger’s Criticism Of Germany

Back in 2019, Germany’s Bundestag ruled the pro-Palestinian ‘Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions’ (BDS) movement as anti-Semitic. Waters, who’s known for his support for the movement and stance against the Israeli government, expressed his disagreement with this decision on Facebook:

“Dear People of Germany: Are you mad? For your lawmakers in the Bundestag to enshrine in German law the suppression of the human rights of a specific group of people, as they did last week, should be ringing alarm bells so loud that the whole population takes to the streets holding their hands over their ears like the haunted soul in Edvard Munch’s painting The Scream.

Have you lost your minds? Have you forgotten what happened in your country in the 1930s and 40s, when the rule of law was subverted to support the racist/supremacist/apartheid bullsh**t that passed for law and order under the Nazis?”

His Support For ‘Resistance’

Waters went on to mention previously visiting the graves of Hans and Sophie Scholl and Christoph Probst, who were executed for supporting the White Rose resistance group against Nazi rule. Referencing their ‘non-violent’ fight for the Jewish people in the 30s and 40s, he wrote:

“Today, in the Holy land, another people is being persecuted, denied all human rights, especially the rights to life and liberty, by another racist/supremacist/apartheid government, that government is the government of Israel. In civil society all over the world, there exists a non-violent movement very similar to the Scholl kid’s ‘White Rose Movement,’ which supports this other people’s claim to recover their basic human rights under the terms of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Geneva conventions and the treaty of Rome. That people who have no rights, is the Palestinian People, and the non-violent movement that stands up for Palestinian human rights is called BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions). BDS is the organization the Bundestag is so wantonly seeking to criminalize.”

Addressing The Anti-Semitism Accusations

The singer touched on the backlash he received for his criticism of Israel by saying:

“When I was in Germany last year, I came under attack from the Israeli lobby, which, because of my support for Palestinian human rights, falsely tried to smear me as an anti-Semite. I was not all that surprised because the ‘anti-Semite’ smear is the Israeli government/lobby’s only tactic in its attempts to silence critics of their policies.”

Waters claimed that he tried to get the press to talk about these accusations but found little response. His words read:

“After banging my head against this wall of resistance, I did finally persuade one newspaper, Suddeutche Zeitung to do an interview. It was weirdly combative, but I thank the journalist Alexander Gorkov for at least giving me the time of day. However, Alexander was a lone exception during that working trip last year; the rest of the German media seemed to be blinded, struck dumb, emotionally crippled by the guilt and shame handed down from their recent genocidal Nazi past.”

Commenting on the media’ silence,’ he shared:

“Many are also terrified of the stigma of being falsely accused of being anti-Semitic if they voice the slightest criticism of Israel’s oppressive regime. With some notable exceptions, the whole of German society seems to be affected by this psychological malaise, and in consequence, the country sometimes blindly stumbles, loses its way, and unwittingly does really bad things.”

Calling The Germans Out For Support

The year Waters first posted his letter, German lawmakers declared that the methods and patterns BDS used for its political aims were anti-Semitic. So, referring to the decision, he wrote:

“Criminalizing BDS is a really bad thing that German society is doing right now. So, in the name of Sophie Scholl, who will be turning in her grave at this betrayal of everything she stood for, everything she and Hans and Christoph Probst died for, I beg the German people to demand the repeal of this tyrannical legislation. Munch’s terrible vision waits at the bottom of the slippery slope to tyranny upon which you, the German people, are embarking.”

The singer gave an anecdote from Sophie Scholl’s life to call out the German fans and continued:

“There are many partings of the way in life, many paths to choose, Sophie Scholl’s father once told his daughter, on an evening walk by the Danube, ‘All I want is for you to walk straight and free through life, even when it’s hard.’ He, an avowed anti-Nazi, knew that the choices are not always easy, but this one is simple. Just ask yourself this question: Do I support the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from Paris in 1948? Do I support equal human rights for all my brothers and sisters all over the world, irrespective of their ethnicity, religion, or nationality? If your answer to these questions is yes, your choice is easy, there is only one right path, take it.”

In recent years, Roger Waters has faced accusations of anti-Semitism in the media. Last year, his comments against the Israeli government led to the cancellation of his shows in Germany and attracted significant criticism.