According to a first court decision, Roger Waters is allowed to perform in the Frankfurt Festhalle. On Monday, the Frankfurt administrative court gave up on the urgent application by the co-founder Pink Floyd against the city of Frankfurt am Main and the state of Hesse. The city and state are shareholders of Frankfurter Messe GmbH and wanted to terminate the event contract in February because of the singer’s “continued anti-Israel behavior”.
Waters is a supporter of the anti-Semitic BDS (“Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions”) movement, a political campaign aimed at isolating the State of Israel economically, culturally, and politically. In addition, he has recently repeatedly commented on the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and tried to conspiracy myths. “The most important reason for Western arms deliveries to Ukraine is certainly the profit of the arms industry,” he whispered. Putin’s reasons for the invasion he put it into perspective in an interview with the Berlin newspaper as follows: “He initiated it on the basis of reasons which, if I understand them correctly, are as follows: First, he wants to prevent the potential genocide of the Russian-speaking population in Donbass. Second, he wants to fight fascism in Ukraine.”
The court found that Waters did not glorify or relativize Nazi atrocities
The shareholders therefore also referred to the special historical significance of the venue when canceling the planned event. More than 3,000 Jewish men were rounded up, detained and mistreated there in the course of the Reichspogromnacht in 1938, only to be deported afterwards. In its decision, however, the administrative court emphasized artistic freedom. The concert also does not violate the human dignity of the Jewish men who were abused in the Festhalle.
In addition, a serious impairment of the validity and respect claims of the Jews living in Germany cannot be established without a doubt. Waters’ performance does not glorify or relativize Nazi atrocities. “In addition, we have no evidence that Rogers uses propaganda material on his show,” said the spokeswoman. The 79-year-old had taken legal action against the termination of the contract. He had filed an urgent application to gain access to the hall. The parties can still appeal against the decision of the Administrative Court at the Hessian Administrative Court in Kassel.
There has been criticism of the planned appearances in several German cities for months. The city of Munich had already decided in March not to ban the Waters concert in the Olympia Hall there. For legal reasons, it was not possible to terminate the contract with the concert organizer extraordinarily, it said at the time.