The Austrian composer Ernst Krenek's opera Jonny Spielt Auf (Jonny Strikes Up) premiered in 1927, and was one of the most prominent musical icons of the Weimar Republic. It was enormously popular, and toured all over Europe and the United States. Under Nazism, the opera became one of the central targets of the Entartete Musik exhibition in 1938 and its promotion of theories of musical 'degeneracy': the event was advertised with the image of a black musician with the features of an ape, playing a saxophone and wearing a Jewish star.

Jonny Spielt Auf" taken from the CD "An Introduction to Entartete Musik", Courtesy of Decca Classics (

Entartete Musik exhibition programme cover (1938)