The city of Munich is allowing the controversial concert by Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters to take place on May 21 in Munich's Olympiahalle, despite allegations of anti-Semitism against the musician. In a meeting of the city council, Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter (SPD) said on Wednesday that it was "unspeakable and unbearable" that Waters was allowed to appear in Munich, the former capital of the Nazi movement and in the vicinity of the scene of the 1972 Olympic assassination , Nevertheless, after a legal examination commissioned by him by the government of Upper Bavaria, there is no other possibility.
"It is absolutely mandatory law, and no lawyer sees it anywhere else" that a planned ban on the Roger Waters concert is not possible, said Reiter. Even if the city council were to unanimously ask him to do so, as mayor he would have no power and could not ban the concert. The Lord Mayor referred to a decision of the Federal Administrative Court.
Unlike Munich, Frankfurt am Main wants to cancel the Waters concert that was also planned there in May. The singer wants to fight back. In addition, he is to appear in Hamburg and Cologne.
The President of the Jewish community in Munich and Upper Bavaria, Charlotte Knobloch, reacted with disappointment to the decision. "This decision is a slap in the face for the Jewish community and for all those who work for a respectful and tolerant coexistence - by letting the BDS supporter Roger Waters appear in Munich in May, the state authorities missed an opportunity to follow up many declarations of intent against anti-Semitism with concrete actions,” she explained.
Knobloch welcomed the ideas expressed in the city council debate to change the legal basis in such a way that actors like Waters could no longer be offered a stage. "Something has to be done quickly here, otherwise we'll soon have the problem again - the fundamental rule is: This concert should never have been promised," she explained.
Waters was recently criticized for statements about the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. He attended a UN Security Council meeting on the Ukraine war at Russia's invitation in February and said in a video address that the Russian attack on Ukraine was "not unprovoked".
Waters has also long been accused of open anti-Semitism and affiliation with the so-called BDS campaign, an anti-Israel boycott initiative. In 2017, the city of Munich decided that city facilities could not be made available for BDS-related events because the campaign was anti-Semitic. However, the Federal Administrative Court declared this decision to be invalid, on which the decision for the Waters concert is now also based.