Gottfried Benn

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Gottfried Benn around 1951, drawing by Tobias Falberg
Gottfried Benn Signature.jpg

Gottfried Benn (born May 2, 1886 in Mansfeld , Brandenburg , † July 7, 1956 in Berlin ) was a German doctor , poet and essayist .


80 Pf - special stamp of the Bundespost Berlin (1986) with a portrait of Gottfried Benn
Memorial plaque on the house at Mehringdamm 38 in Berlin-Kreuzberg

Early childhood

Gottfried Benn was born on May 2, 1886 as the second oldest of the eight children of Protestant pastor Gustav Benn (1857-1939) and his wife Caroline Benn (1858-1912, née Jequier; from Fleurier in the Swiss Jura) in the village of Mansfeld near Putlitz Born in the Westprignitz district. His siblings included Theodor Benn (1891–1981), who became known in the 1920s for his involvement in a fememicide , and Ernst-Viktor Benn (1898–1990), who later became President of the State Church Office in Hanover. When Benn was six months old, the family moved to Sellin near Bärwalde in the Neumark . Due to the income as a rural pastor, the family's economic resources were limited and had to be supplemented by their own small farms. Benn discussed his childhood, for example. B. in the prose writing Life Path of an Intellectualist (1934) and in poems sometimes in a wistful tone as an unconsciously happy time.

It's a garden that I see sometimes
east of the Oder, where the plains are far [...]
There is a boy that I sometimes mourn
who let himself by the lake in reeds and waves,
the river before which I shudder did not yet flow
which was first called happiness and then forgetting.

A certain social imbalance was decisive for Benn's socialization. He grew up with farm workers' children as well as with sons of the East Elbe nobility. Despite the privileged position of his father's office and education, because of his relative lack of property and because of the difference in class, he did not belong to the class of the Junker sons. The first Benn biographer Thilo Koch concluded from this an incomplete socialization and uprooting of Benn and an oppressive feeling because of his poverty , which resulted in an inferiority complex that can also be demonstrated in later life.

Relationship with parents

Benn's relationship with his father was very tense for a long time and was characterized by mutual alienation. His father, with his patriarchal, Christian-pietist, but also partly social democratic character, always remained a point of friction for him, and even in Benn's own words from 1954 he is described as a great zealot and fanatic . Later Benn - like the pastor's son Nietzsche - increasingly rejected the permanent religious reference, which, in Benn's words, “only linked everything with God or death, but not earthliness”.

However, he had a more intimate, emotional relationship with his mother. Her early death in 1912 struck him deeply. This is also shown by his poem Mutter (unpublished during his lifetime) :

I carry you like a wound
on my forehead that won't close.
It doesn't always hurt. And
the heart does not flow out of it dead.
Only sometimes suddenly I am blind and feel
blood in my mouth.

When Benn's mother suffered from breast cancer, his father forbade the already licensed son for religious reasons - since the pain was willed by God - even from treating the mother with pain-relieving morphines. This led to a serious falling out between Benn and his father, and Benn cut off contact completely for the next several years. This overall complex of a father-son conflict can be observed exemplarily in Benn's poem Pastorensohn, written between 1912 and 1917 and published in 1922 , in which he - going up to the castration of the father - radically settles with him:

[…] Cursed old Abraham,
twelve heavy plagues of Isaac
bring you to a halt with a noodle

In the cycle of poems Sons of 1913, the criticism of the father reappears in an overall context of a historical and supra-individual generation conflict that is quite common in Expressionism (poem Schnellzug ):

[…] From my shoulders the fields,
fathers and hill fortune leaf -;
The sons grew up. The sons go
naked, and in the grief of the blood they
have given birth their foreheads are reddened with happiness.

High school time

From September 1897 to September 1903 he attended the Friedrichs-Gymnasium in Frankfurt (Oder) , where he also obtained the school leaving certificate . He lived for four years in a boarding house with Count Heinrich Finck von Finckenstein , who was the same age and whom he had known since his father's private tutoring with the family. Benn's grades were generally mediocre. In Latin and ancient Greek , however, he was good. This is later also reflected in the close relationship between his poetry and Greek antiquity and its mythology and world of gods .


After graduating from high school in September 1903, Benn immediately wanted to study medicine. But this contradicted his father's ideas, since this study was long and expensive and he would have liked to see his son as his successor in his pastoral office. In the winter semester of 1903/1904, Benn started studying Protestant theology and philosophy in Marburg . At first he lived cheaply in the corporation house of the local gymnastics club , to which his father had already belonged. In the winter semester of 1904/1905 he switched to studying philology at the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität in Berlin. Benn seems to have shown little interest in both courses and was struck off the university register in the summer of 1905 because of "carelessness".

Now the father no longer stood in the way of his son studying medicine . For cost reasons, however, only studying at the Kaiser-Wilhelms-Akademie for military medical education came into question. This enabled an almost free training under the condition of serving as a military doctor one year later for each semester of study. Benn later positively emphasized the importance of this high-quality, strict, but also versatile training for his development:

“An excellent university, I owe everything to her! Virchow , Helmholtz , Leyden , Behring had emerged from her, her spirit ruled there more than the military one, [...] life there was that of completely free students, we had no uniform. […] Harshness of thought, responsibility in judgment, security in distinguishing between the accidental and the legal, but above all the deep skepticism that style creates, that grew here. "

During his six-year studies, Benn took on a lifelong spiritual and social habitus that was shaped by the Prussian military as a way of life - often noted by contemporary witnesses. From October 1910 Benn was a junior physician in the 64th Infantry Regiment in Prenzlau and at the same time interned in the Charité from October 1910 to November 1911 , presumably in psychiatry . During this time Benn wrote several medical studies on psychiatric issues, one of which (The Etiology of Puberty Epilepsy ) won first prize in the Berlin Medical Faculty in 1910. In October 1911 he passed his medical state examination, received his license to practice medicine , and in 1912 he earned his doctorate in medicine with On the frequency of diabetes mellitus in the army .

Between 1910 and 1912 Benn came into contact with poets and publicists who can be assigned to the environment of Expressionism , such as Carl Einstein , Alfred Lichtenstein , Franz Pfemfert , Herwarth Walden and Paul Zech . Benn published his first literary works while he was still a student. These are four poems in 1910, a text that appeared in the magazine Der Grenzbote that same year, entitled Conversation, and the prose text Under the Cerebral Cortex. Letters from the Sea in 1911. In both texts, in fictional conversations between two protagonists, the opposing pairs of intellect and soul, conscious and unconscious and the models for poetry based on them are discussed. Benn became an author who soon became known and respected in literary circles.

1912 to 1914

Benn's first volume of poetry, in which the doctor's experiences were reflected, appeared in March 1912 under the title Morgue and other poems . The publication was a scandal and established Benn's early fame. In the summer of the same year he met the poet Else Lasker-Schüler , with whom a love affair developed. From the summer of 1912 he served as a doctor in a pioneer battalion in Berlin-Spandau. But in March 1913 he resigned from the military for health reasons (" wandering kidney "). Benn had already held an assistant position in the pathology department of the “ Westend Clinic on Spandauer Damm” in Berlin-Charlottenburg since October 1912 . There he developed his precise descriptive style while carrying out a documented 197 autopsies, as his autopsy protocols show. At the end of 1913 he switched to the head of pathology at the Gynecological Hospital in Charlottenburg. But he also resigned from this position at the beginning of 1914 at “his own request”.

In 1914, shortly before the outbreak of the First World War , he traveled to the USA as a ship's doctor (Benn often alludes to this trip in his later works: "[...] went to America, vaccinated the tween deck") and then represented the chief doctor for a short time a lung sanatorium in the Fichtel Mountains . In the same year he got married to Edith Brosin, geb. Osterloh, a. The daughter Nele was born on September 8, 1915.

First World War

Even before 1914, Benn had enough opportunity to personally get to know the often arrogant and inhumane habit of the German officer corps. He described this in a montage of snippets of conversation in his 1912 poem Casino . Benn was not caught by the national enthusiasm for war that was widespread among intellectuals of all political directions at the time . However, he was also not a declared opponent of war. Rather, he faced the events with a mixture of cool distance and dutiful, yet unengaged acceptance.

At the beginning of the war, Benn was drafted and first deployed to field hospitals on the Western Front . He was involved in the siege of Antwerp and was one of the first medical officers to be awarded the Iron Cross, second class. He was then in occupied Belgium in the stage used as a doctor in a hospital for prostitutes. In Brussels he was received by Thea Sternheim , the wife of the poet Carl Sternheim , and wrote down most of the "Rönne novellas" published under the title Brains .

Benn later described this phase of his life in almost wistful memory as a time of free life from social and professional obligations, but also of depersonalization within states of emergency:

“[…] Had little duty, was allowed to go in civilian clothes, had nothing to do with anything, was not attached to anyone, […] what was the cannonade of Yser , without which not a day passed, life swung in a sphere of silence and forlornness, me lived on the edge, where existence falls and the ego begins. I often think back to those weeks; they were life, they will not come back, everything else was rupture. […] In war and peace, in the front and in the stage, as an officer and as a doctor […] the trance never left me that this reality did not exist. "

During this time Benn apparently allowed himself to be artistically stimulated by taking cocaine for a short period of time (in his own words “ trance states of inner concentration, a stimulation of secret spheres”). This is also suggested by excerpts from Benn's writings, for example in Der Garten von Arles, II, 84 and in his poems Kokain and O Nacht ("O night! I was already taking cocaine, and blood distribution is in progress ..."). He wrote to Ernst Jünger in 1951:

"May I take the opportunity to mention that I neither use nor have used drugs myself (apart from a short episode with cocaine in World War I) ..."

Officially, he was obliged to be present at executions; He was present at the execution of the British nurse Edith Cavell and, as the official doctor of the German army, declared her death. According to Thea Sternheim's recollections, Benn rated Cavell's execution at the time with the “terrifying objectivity of a doctor” as a war-related necessity and normality. When the Cavell case was again covered in the press in an English film in 1928, Benn spoke up as an eye and contemporary witness. In an evening newspaper in Berlin he described the course of the trial and the execution. Although he describes Cavell here with empathy, Benn still regards the process as an indispensable and historically consistent consequence of the time.

1917 to 1927

In the late summer of 1917, more than a year before the end of the war, Benn was demobilized. The reasons for this can no longer be determined. In Berlin he then worked for a few weeks as an assistant doctor for dermatology at the Charité, before setting up his own practice for skin and venereal diseases on November 10, 1917 at Belle-Alliance-Straße 12 (now Mehringdamm 38), where he also has a Apartment had opened. Benn's wife and daughter lived in a family apartment at Passauer Straße 19 in the Bavarian Quarter . Benn's daughter later recalled that the father was there now and then, but probably not often. Benn needed this separation for his independence, his literary production, but also for his erotic adventures. From 1921 Benn had a relationship with the librarian Gertrud Zenzes, who was twelve years his junior, and in the twenties he was said to have had a liaison with the society photographer Frieda Riess , to whom he also dedicated a poem. In 1926 he had an affair with Mopsa Sternheim . The surviving letters of Benn from this time indicate that he felt mentally and physically not very well at the time. The unhappy marriage, his boredom from everyday professional tasks, but also a general depression may have contributed to this. His doctor's practice was not doing very well economically either. So he wrote in 1921:

“It is no life this daily greasing u. Syringes and Quacks and the like to be so tired in the evening that one could cry. [...] Yes, I am indescribably tired and worn out again instantly, there is nothing to be said about it, the futility of existence in its purest form and the like. the hopelessness of private existence in concentration. "

The Jewish publisher Erich Reiss , who published Benn's Collected Writings for the first time in 1922 , became an important sponsor and friend . Edith Benn, his first wife, died in 1922; their daughter Nele then grew up with the Danish opera singer Ellen Overgaard .

In the 20's several new poems, and essays originated the modern I (1920) and the prose The last I . The radical, avant-garde vocabulary of his early poetry increasingly gave way to a softer and more traditional tone towards the end of the 1920s. Benn was aloof from the massive socio-political turmoil and changes of the time and deliberately stayed away from the excited public disputes associated with it.

1928 to 1945

Gottfried Benn, 1934

In 1928 Benn gave the funeral oration for his friend Klabund in Crossen an der Oder , and in the same year he was accepted into the Berlin PEN Club .

Benn's relationship to National Socialism is often described all too schematically as two sharply separated phases of approval and subsequent rejection. In reality, his attitude towards National Socialism was quite different. The dialectic in Benn's essence and thinking fluctuated between passionate engagement and resignedly insulted abandonment of politics in purely aesthetic areas, but this did not affect the artistic status of his work. Only in lectures and treatises did he at times admit what he believed to be the Nazi ideology; in his lyrical work, however, there are no clear references to the corresponding ideas. Benn was also never - like so many other poets - active in one of the literary and ideological circles ( George Circle ), which was popular at the time, or in one of the many reactionary political groups of the period after 1918.

In the 1920s, Benn first attracted Italian fascism , such as B. embodied by the art programmatic of the futurist Marinetti . A certain intellectual closeness of Benn to topics and ideas of thinkers of the Conservative Revolution is also evident. After the publication of the Gesammelte Gedichte in 1927, Benn's lyrical production temporarily took a back seat to ideological essays and the journalistic debate with intellectuals from the left-wing political spectrum. But in 1930 , in the controversy with Johannes R. Becher , Benn rejected any political commitment or concern for social reform issues as unworthy of a true poet. In 1932, however, Benn moved more into the focus of public cultural and political interest through his election to the poetry section of the Prussian Academy of the Arts .

After the handover of power to the National Socialists, he succeeded Heinrich Mann as acting chairman of the section. On March 13, shortly after the Reichstag elections in March 1933 , he and Max von Schillings drafted a declaration of loyalty for Hitler, which forbade the members from non-National Socialist political activity: Are you ready to continue your person at the Prussian Academy, recognizing the changed historical situation of the arts? An affirmative answer to this question excludes public political activity against the Reich government and obliges you to loyally collaborate in the national cultural tasks assigned to the Academy in accordance with the statutes in the sense of the changed historical situation. The members had to sign if they were threatened with expulsion. Thomas Mann and Ricarda Huch resigned; Gerhart Hauptmann , Oskar Loerke and Alfred Döblin , who nevertheless declared his resignation as a Jew, and many others signed. Excluded were z. B. Franz Werfel and Leonhard Frank .

But even in the essay Expressionism of 1933 Benn felt compelled to defend this art movement against National Socialist attacks and to justify his own position as one of its literary founders. Benn, who was also assumed by Börries Freiherr von Münchhausen to be of Jewish descent (see below), reacted in surprise and disbelief to the rejection of his artistic work by the new regime. The arbitrariness and lawlessness of the boycott of the Jews - especially in relation to five medical colleagues practicing in his house - also raised doubts about the new state in him in the course of 1933. From the beginning of 1933 until the so-called Röhm Putsch (1934), Benn campaigned for National Socialism through essayistic writings. In his early essays from 1933, Benn had clearly spoken out in favor of the new state, but not explicitly in favor of its leadership by a party like the NSDAP . Even then it was slowly becoming clear to him that he had placed false hopes on the political practice of the new government. Nevertheless, he delivered the Academy speech on April 29, 1933 and signed the pledge of loyal allegiance to Adolf Hitler , which was printed on October 26, 1933.

Soon afterwards Benn stopped his efforts to secure a state-sanctioned place in the National Socialist literary business. Benn's works after 1934 are then increasingly distanced or even critical of the Nazi regime.

Gottfried Benn lays a wreath on the grave of Arno Holz in the name of the Poet Academy (1933), photo from the Federal Archives

The question of why Gottfried Benn publicly sided with the National Socialist state is still explained by some with a “misunderstanding”. Benn himself also suggests this point of view in his post-war autobiography Doppelleben , when he attests that the "young Klaus Mann " has almost clairvoyant abilities that he naturally could not have possessed himself at the time:

“[…] The situation in the confused spring of 1933 was now such that after the departure of the most famous members of the department, almost half a dozen members remained behind, who were faced with the onslaught of certain folkish and popularly oriented authors who eliminate the old group and all wanted to occupy cultural positions. They all took us more or less to be cultural Bolsheviks . The events took place in the dark for us, nobody knew where he was, and there were not only ideal questions to be debated, but also material ones. Not for me, I never got a penny out of any of these funds or had any other benefit. [...] "

In his answer to the literary emigrants , he reacted to Klaus Mann's private accusations in the mass media (newspapers and radio) and justified his stay in National Socialist Germany from 1933. He found himself in the foreword to two radio speeches. The new state and the intellectuals. Answer to the literary émigrés in 1933 states that at the end of “a fifteen year development” and therefore at the height of the zeitgeist.

"So there you are sitting in your seaside resorts and confronting us because we are working on the new building of a state, whose faith is unique, whose seriousness is shattering, whose inner and outer situation is so difficult that illiads and incisions are required to conquer its fate tell. You wish this state and its people war in front of all foreign countries, to destroy them, collapse, ruin. So now you take a look at the sea stretching to Africa, maybe a battleship is romping on it with negro troops from those 600,000 colonial soldiers of the notorious French Forces d'outremer to be deployed against Germany, maybe also to the Arc de Triomphe or the Hradschin , and swear to this country, which politically wants nothing but to secure its future and from which most of you have only spiritually taken revenge. "

In these radio speeches Benn saw a “new historical situation” with the “victory of new authoritarian states”, which drove the “victory of the national idea”. According to Benn, “the becoming law of the new century” is a “total state” in line with the “emergence of a new revolutionary movement” and a “new human type”.

In the reply to Klaus Mann and also in other utterances (e.g. in the short essay on breeding ) there are explicit thoughts of Benn on breeding and eugenics that are very close to National Socialism :

“Do you finally understand [...] it is about the emergence of a new biological type, history mutates and a people wants to breed. […] The genetic material emerges from the seams of the organic, the human genes from the defects in the regeneration centers. "

The individualistic and (former) Expressionist Benn did not succeed in asserting his artistic ideas and his work in National Socialist Germany. He soon realized that the modernity of form and content of his works was incompatible with the ideology that was now prevailing. After it had not been allowed to broadcast his poems since September 1933 and his license as a doctor was in jeopardy, Benn was banned from giving lectures on the radio in May 1934. In the spring of 1934 Benn became vice president of the " Union of National Writers ". However, he was early (since 1933) by various organs of the National Socialists, such as B. attacked in the “ Black Corps ”, especially by Börries Freiherr von Münchhausen , who tried to defame him as a “Jew” because of his name, which he associated with the Jewish “Ben”, and finally in 1936 by the Völkischer Beobachter as a “pig " designated. Benn responded to Münchhausen's allegations by emphasizing his descent from a German parsonage in the life path of an intellectualist . In the end, however, these genealogical explanations were of no use to Benn.

Memorial plaque in Berlin, Bavarian Quarter, Bozener Straße 20

After giving up his medical practice in Berlin, Benn successfully tried to join the Wehrmacht in 1935; He described this military reactivation as an "aristocratic form of emigration". In the following years he became a senior staff doctor in the military replacement inspection in Hanover. However, he never felt at home here, the stories Weinhaus Wolf and Doppelleben as well as the so-called Stadthallen-elegies - including the well-known poem Asters - offer some impressions of his stay in Hanover. In 1937 he was transferred to Berlin as a military medical doctor and took up his apartment on Bozener Strasse in the Bavarian quarter of Berlin-Schöneberg . In 1938 Benn married his secretary Herta von Wedemeyer (Hanover).

Since 1938 Benn wrote very open private letters which could easily have brought him to the concentration camp . In 1938 Benn was excluded from the Reichsschrifttumskammer and was banned from writing. The Wehrmacht office in which he worked was relocated to Landsberg an der Warthe ; In the Walter Flex barracks there , he wrote analyzing essays on his situation and the manifestations of National Socialism (after the first accounting for Art and the Third Reich in 1941, here Block II, Room 66 [1944, the title again refers to his life theme "double life") ] and others).

His poem Monologue from 1941 represented an unequivocal condemnation of Hitler (clown) and the Nazi barbarism.

The intestines nourished with snot, the brain with lies -
chosen peoples fools of a clown, interpreting their own rubbish
in jokes, star reading, bird migration
! Slaves -
from cold countries and from glowing,
more and more slaves, pug-heavy,
hungry, whip- swept piles:
then the own swells up, the own down,
the rough, the beard of the prophet!

In 1945 Benn returned to Berlin and resumed medical work in his old practice. His wife Herta took her own life with morphine on July 2nd for fear of rape and murder by Red Army soldiers .

Commitment to National Socialism

Gottfried Benn was never a member of the NSDAP . Benn turned away from National Socialism, with which he had first sympathized, mainly because he finally assessed it as being as anti-cultural as communism and socialism. After the end of the war, he was initially attacked for his initial support for the Hitler regime, but at the latest with his static poems , which had departed from the wildly cynical tone of the Morgue poems, he found a new, steadily growing audience in the young Federal Republic. In the end, the author became a well-known, style-shaping poet who was awarded the Büchner Prize.

1946 to 1956

In December 1946, Benn married the dentist Ilse Kaul. The writing ban for him was initially retained under the Allied administration. In the Soviet occupation zone , Benn's writings The New State and the Intellectuals (1933) and Art and Power (1934) were placed on the list of literature to be discarded in 1946 .

Gottfried Benn's tombstone in the Waldfriedhof Berlin-Dahlem

Since autumn 1948 Benn was allowed to publish again in Germany; first, however, the volume Statische Gedichte appeared in the Swiss Arche-Verlag ; the publisher Max Niedermayer had been able to obtain permission to print in West Germany.

In contrast to many other people and writers who became partially guilty in the Third Reich, Benn did not suppress his involvement in the time after 1945. This is how he described his earlier attitude, without excusing it, as then historically and based on his personal biography in the following words:

"To be wrong and still have to believe what is inside, that is man."

In the years of the early Federal Republic, Benn experienced a rapid rise. In 1949 four books by Benn were published. With the award of the Georg Büchner Prize in 1951, his career reached its temporary climax. In 1953, on his 67th birthday, Benn was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany by Federal President Theodor Heuss. This award met u. a. at the Protection Association of German Authors Northwest e. V. to criticism. Benn spoke of a "rampage" taking place against him.

In September 1950 Dieter Wellershoff , then a student of German in Bonn, contacted Benn. At that time he wrote his dissertation on Benn, which he highly praised. Wellershoff later became the editor of Benn's Collected Works . In 1951 Benn became acquainted with the writer Astrid Claes . In 1952 he met the journalist Gerda Pfau, who was 30 years his junior; the friendly relationship lasted until his death. In 1954 he began a relationship with the thirty-five years younger writer and journalist Ursula Ziebarth , which lasted until his death.

The literary journalist and author Karl Schwedhelm was one of Benn's contacts .

The third and last stanza of one of Benn's most famous poems, the 1953 Only Two Things , which was often understood as Benn's personal life record, reads:

Whether roses, whether snow, whether seas,
whatever has bloomed,
there are only two things: the emptiness
and the drawn self.

Gottfried Benn had been suffering from severe pain since the beginning of 1956, the cause of which, bone cancer , was only clearly established shortly before his death. A spa stay in Schlangenbad in June 1956 turned out to be pointless and unsuccessful because the pain made balneological treatments impossible.

Gottfried Benn died only a few weeks after his 70th birthday on July 7, 1956 in Berlin and was buried in the Dahlem Forest Cemetery (Dept. 27W-31/32). His grave is dedicated as a Berlin honorary grave .

On the envelope of his will was written in Latin “te spectem suprema cum mihi venerit hora; te tenam moriens deficiente manu ”(German:“ I want to look at you when my hour has struck. I want to hold you dying when my hand is already falling ”).

To the work

Gottfried Benn is considered one of the most important German poets of literary modernism . He entered the literary scene for the first time as an expressionist with his Morgue poems, which radically broke with conventional poetic traditions and in which impressions from his work as a doctor found strong expression. Sections and cancer and birth wards are described seemingly emotionless, and romantic titles like “Kleine Aster” arouse expectations that are then blatantly disappointed.

The rights to the work are now held by Klett-Cotta Verlag .


Max Rychner made an attempt to assign nouns frequently used by Benn to different word fields and contexts of meaning.

He assigns the following terms to the conscious, divisive, anti-soul, historical and numerical-scientific side:

  • Head, forehead, brain, skull, head, me, self, mind, deed.

He identifies the opposite, i.e. the blissful forgetting of the ego and surrender to the unconscious stream of life, with terms such as:

  • stream, flow, sea, flood, Hades , Lethe , water, sacrificial wine, tear, distant eternity, night, blood, sleep, dream, intoxication, limitless, shower, depth, happiness, toxic spheres .

Refer to an area that has been removed from time:

  • Ithaca , blue, south seas , rose, seagull, dream, night, sea, blood, wine, fire, worlds and word.


Benn's estate is in the German Literature Archive in Marbach am Neckar and a small part in the archive of the Berlin Academy of the Arts . Parts from the estate in the German Literature Archive can be seen in the permanent exhibition of the Modern Literature Museum in Marbach.

Works (during lifetime, in book form)

  • About the frequency of diabetes mellitus in the army. Dissertation (Berlin 1912)
  • Morgue and other poems (1912)
  • Sons. New Poems (1913)
  • Brains. Novellas (1916)
  • Flesh. Collected Poems (1917)
  • Diesterweg. A Novella (1918)
  • The surveyor. Epistemological Drama (1918)
  • Stage (1918)
  • The modern me (1920)
  • The Collected Writings (1922)
  • Rubble (1924)
  • Anesthesia. Five new poems (1925)
  • Cleavage. New Poems (1925)
  • Collected Poems (1927)
  • Collected prose (1928)
  • Conclusion of perspectives (1930)
  • The incessant. Oratorio (1931) , music by Paul Hindemith
  • After Nihilism (1932)
  • The new state and the intellectuals (1933)
  • Art and Power (1934)
  • Poems (1936)
  • Selected poems 1911-1936 (1936)
  • Twenty-Two Poems (1943)
  • Static Poems (1948)
  • Three Old Men (1949)
  • Der Ptolemäer (contains Weinhaus Wolf; Roman of the Phenotype; Der Ptolemäer , 1949; 2nd edition 1956)
  • World of expression. Essays and Aphorisms (1949)
  • Drunken tide. Selected Poems (1949)
  • Double life (1950)
  • Fragments. New Poems (1951)
  • Problems of Poetry (1951)
  • Essays (1951)
  • The Voice Behind the Curtain (1952)
  • Distillations. New poems (1953),
  • Aging as a problem for artists (1954)
  • Aprèslude (1955)
  • Primary days. Poems and fragments from the estate (1958)

Work editions

  • Collected Works. Edited by Dieter Wellershoff . 4 volumes. Limes, Stuttgart 1958–1961.
    • Volume 1: essays, speeches, lectures. 1959.
    • Volume 2: Prose and Scenes. 1958.
    • Volume 3: Poems. 1960.
    • Volume 4: Autobiographical and Mixed Writings. 1961.
  • Collected Works. Edited by Dieter Wellershoff. 8 volumes. Limes, Wiesbaden 1968.
    • Volume 1: Poems.
    • Volume 2: Poems (Appendix).
    • Volume 3: Essays and Articles.
    • Volume 4: Speeches and Lectures.
    • Volume 5: Prose.
    • Volume 6: Pieces from the estate, scenes.
    • Volume 7: Mixed Scriptures.
    • Volume 8: Autobiographical Writings.
  • The main work. Edited by Marguerite Schlueter. 4 volumes. Limes, Wiesbaden 1980.
    • Volume 1: Poetry.
    • Volume 2: essays, speeches, lectures.
    • Volume 3: Prose, Scenes.
    • Volume 4: Mixed Scriptures.
  • Collected works in the version of the first prints. Critically reviewed and edited. by Bruno Hillebrand . 4 volumes. Fischer paperback, Frankfurt am Main 1982–1990.
    • Volume 1: Poems in the version of the first prints. 1982.
    • Volume 2: Prose and autobiography in the version of the first editions. 1984.
    • Volume 3: Essays and speeches in the version of the first editions. 1989.
    • Volume 4: Scenes and writings in the version of the first prints. 1990.
  • Complete Works. Stuttgart edition. 7 volumes in 8 parts. Edited by Gerhard Schuster (Volume I – V) and Holger Hof (Volume VI, VII / 1 and VII / 2). Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1986-2003, ISBN 3-608-93943-1 .
    • Volume I: Poems 1 [Gesammelte Gedichte 1956]. 1986.
    • Volume II: Poems 2 [Poems published during his lifetime that were not included in the 1956 collection; Poems from the estate; Poetic Fragments 1901-1956]. 1986.
    • Volume III: Prose 1. 1987.
    • Volume IV: Prose 2 [1933-1945]. 1989.
    • Volume V: Prose 3 [1946-1950]. 2001.
    • Volume VI: Prose 4 [1951-1956]. 2001.
    • Volume VII / 1: Scenes and other writings. 2003.
    • Volume VII / 2: Preparatory work, drafts and notes from the estate, register. 2003.


Numerous letters have survived and most of them have been published. The letters are increasingly recognized as part of the work. The correspondence with the Bremen merchant and patron Friedrich Wilhelm Oelze (1891–1978) should be emphasized .

  • Monological art? An exchange of letters between Alexander Lernet-Holenia and Gottfried Benn. In the appendix: Nietzsche - After 50 years. Limes, Wiesbaden 1953.
  • Selected letters . With an afterword by Max Rychner. Wiesbaden 1957.
  • Correspondence with Paul Hindemith (Letters Volume III). Edited by Ann Clark Fehn, with an essay by Dieter Rexroth . Wiesbaden / Munich 1978.
  • Letters to F. W. Oelze (letters volume I-II / 2; volume I: 1932–1945, volume II / 1: 1945–1949, volume II / 2: 1950–1956). Edited by Harald Steinhagen and Jürgen Schröder , with a foreword by F. W. Oelze and an afterword by Harald Steinhagen. Wiesbaden / Munich 1979 f.
  • Correspondence with Max Rychner: 1930–1956 . Edited by Gerhard Schuster. Stuttgart 1986.
  • Letters to Tilly Wedekind 1930–1955 (Letters Volume IV). Edited and with an afterword by Marguerite Valerie Schlüter. Stuttgart 1986.
  • Letters to Elinor Büller 1930–1937 (Letters Volume V). Edited and with an afterword by Marguerite Valerie Schlüter. Stuttgart 1992.
  • Gottfried Benn / Egmont Seyerlen, correspondence 1914–1956 . Edited and with an afterword by Gerhard Schuster. Stuttgart 1993.
  • "Afterwards". Gottfried Benn's letters to Ursula Ziebarth . With postscripts by Ursula Ziebarth and a comment by Jochen Meyer, Göttingen 2001.
  • Letters to Astrid Claes 1951–1956 (Letters Volume VI). Stuttgart 2002.
  • Correspondence between Gottfried Benn and Richard Alewyn 1951–1956 . Editionspraktisches Seminar. In: Berliner Hefte on the history of literary life. 5, 2003, pp. 25-50. ISSN  0949-5371
  • Jörg Döring, David Oels: "We'll make a poem": Richard Alewyn asks Gottfried Benn to attend a symposium for creative writing. On the correspondence between Gottfried Benn and Richard Alewyn 1951–1956. ibid., pp. 7-24.
  • Correspondence between Gottfried Benn and Margret Boveri 1949–1956 . Edited by Roland Berbig / Nele Herbst, ibid., Pp. 63–126.
  • Roland Berbig: Levboots and a kiss on the hand. On the correspondence between Gottfried Benn and Margret Boveri 1949–1956. ibid., pp. 51-62.
  • Correspondence with Mercury . 1948–1956 (Letters Volume VII). Edited by Holger Hof. Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-608-93697-1 .
  • Gottfried Benn - Thea Sternheim. Correspondence and records. With letters and excerpts from Mopsa Sternheim's diary , edited by Thomas Ehrsam. Göttingen 2004.
  • Gottfried Benn / Ernst Jünger: "Correspondence 1949–1956". Edited by Holger Hof. Stuttgart 2006.
  • Letters to Limes Verlag 1948–1956, with the complete correspondence on CD-ROM, Stuttgart 2006 (Letters. Volume VIII).
  • Gottfried Benn; Friedrich Wilhelm Oelze: Correspondence 1932–1956 . Edited by Harald Steinhagen, Stephan Kraft and Holger Hof, 4 volumes. Göttingen / Stuttgart 2016, Wallstein and Klett-Cotta, ISBN 978-3-8353-1826-7 .
  • Gottfried Benn. Absinthe is sipped with a straw, poetry with a red pencil. Selected letters 1904–1956. Edited and commented by Holger Hof. Göttingen 2017, ISBN 978-3-8353-3109-9 .
  • Letters and communications from Gottfried Benn to Gerda Pfau. In: Uwe Lehmann-Brauns: Benn's last love. With original letters from Gottfried Benn. Berlin 2019, ISBN 978-3-95732-381-1 , pp. 13–35.

Readings, lectures

Benn often read from his works. Radio readings have been handed down since 1928.

  • Gottfried Benn: Das Hörwerk 1928–1956. Edited by Robert Galitz, Kurt Kreiler and Martin Weinmann. 2004, mp3- CD, running time over 11 hours.
  • Aging as a problem for artists. Alexander Verlag, Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-89581-150-5 .


  • TV conversation on the occasion of his 70th birthday on May 3, 1956; 16 mm film, 9 minutes
  • Traveling with Benn. A film by Andreas Christoph Schmidt with Ursula Ziebarth about Benn's last years. SFB / WDR 1998, 45 min
  • “Gottfried Benn. Jackal and angel - light-eyed and black-winged ”, documentary, 45 min., Germany 2006, director: Jürgen Miermeister, production: ZDF, first broadcast: July 20, 2006



  • Thilo Koch : Gottfried Benn - A Biographical Essay. Albert Langen, Georg Müller Verlag, Munich 1957.
  • Dieter Wellershoff : Gottfried Benn. Phenotype of this hour. Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne 1958.
  • Nele P. Soerensen: My father Gottfried Benn. Limes Verlag, Wiesbaden 1960.
  • Walter Lennig: Gottfried Benn. With testimonials and photo documents . Hamburg 1962 (18th edition 1994).
  • Jürgen Schröder: Gottfried Benn and the Germans. Studies on person, work and contemporary history. Stauffenburg, Tübingen 1986.
  • Hans Egon Holthusen : Gottfried Benn: life, work, contradiction. 1886-1922. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1986.
  • Edgar Lohner: Passion and Intellect. The poetry of Gottfried Benn. Fischer Taschenbuch, Frankfurt am Main 1986, ISBN 3-596-26495-2 .
  • Klaus Theweleit : Book of Kings, Volume 1. Orpheus and Eurydice. Stroemfeld / Roter Stern, Basel / Frankfurt am Main 1988, ISBN 3-87877-266-1 .
  • Hugh Ridley: Gottfried Benn. A writer between renewal and reaction . Westdeutscher Verlag, 1990, ISBN 3-531-12043-3 .
  • Werner Rübe: Provoked life. Gottfried Benn. Klett-Cotta Verlag, Stuttgart 1993, ISBN 3-608-93058-2 .
  • Klaus Theweleit : Book of Kings, Volume 2. Orpheus at the Pole of Power. Stroemfeld / Roter Stern, Basel / Frankfurt am Main 1994, ISBN 3-87877-305-6 .
  • Karl Schwedhelm : Gottfried Benn. Essay and documentation. (1980/81). Rimbaud, Aachen 1995, ISBN 3-89086-875-4 .
  • Helma Sanders-Brahms : Gottfried Benn and Else Lasker-Schüler. Rowohlt, Berlin 1997, ISBN 3-499-22535-2 .
  • Wolfgang H. Zangemeister, W. Mueller-Jensen, K. Zippel: Gottfried Benn's Absolute Prose and his interpretation of the phenotype of this hour. Koenigshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 1998, ISBN 3-8260-1676-9 .
  • Susanne Kiewitz:  BENN, Gottfried. In: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL). Volume 15, Bautz, Herzberg 1999, ISBN 3-88309-077-8 , Sp. 115-120.
  • Fritz J. Raddatz : Gottfried Benn. Life - Lower Delusion. A biography. Propylaea, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-549-07145-0 .
  • Gunnar Decker : Gottfried Benn. Genius and barbarian. Biography . Construction Verlag, Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-351-02632-3 .
  • Helmut Lethen : The sound of the fathers. Gottfried Benn and his time . Rowohlt, Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-87134-544-X .
  • Joachim Dyck: The contemporary witness. Gottfried Benn 1929–1949. Wallstein, Göttingen 2006, ISBN 3-8353-0024-5 .
  • Wolfgang Emmerich : Gottfried Benn. Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag, Reinbek 2006, ISBN 3-499-50681-5 .
  • Christian Schärf: The untouchable. Gottfried Benn - poet in the 20th century. Aisthesis, Bielefeld 2006, ISBN 3-89528-520-X .
  • Holger Hof (Ed.): Benn. His life in pictures and texts. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-608-95345-9 .
  • Jürgen Schröder : Gottfried Benn. Poetry and socialization. 2nd Edition. University Library Tübingen, Tübingen 2009.
  • Jochen Strobel: Poet with a double life. A literary sensation - that's how Gottfried Benn's appearance in Marburg should be called, who was born 125 years ago and spoke at Philipps University 60 years ago about how poems are created. Why did the lecture cause such a sensation? In: Marburger UniJournal. No. 36, September 2011, pp. 44-46.
  • Holger Hof: Gottfried Benn. The man with no memory . A biography. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2011, ISBN 978-3-608-93851-7 .
  • Marcus Hahn: Gottfried Benn and the knowledge of modernity. Volume 1: 1905-1920. Volume 2: 1921-1932. Wallstein, Göttingen 2011, ISBN 978-3-8353-0784-1 .
  • Horst-Jürgen Gerigk: The empirical man. Gottfried Benn's anthropological premise. Ursula Ziebarth on her 90th birthday. In: Horst-Jürgen Gerigk: Dichterprofile. Tolstoj, Gottfried Benn, Nabokov. Universitätsverlag Winter, Heidelberg 2012, ISBN 978-3-8253-6117-4 .
  • Thorsten Ries: Transformation as an anthropological motif in Gottfried Benn's poetry. Text genetic edition of selected poems from the years 1935 to 1953. 2 volumes. De Gruyter, Berlin / Boston, Mass. 2014, ISBN 978-3-11-035063-0 .
  • Uwe Lehmann-Brauns : Benn's last love (essay, with first published original letters from Gottfried Benn to Gerda Pfau), Verbrecher Verlag , Berlin 2019, ISBN 978-3-95732-381-1 .



  • Joachim Dyck, Holger Hof, Peter D. Krause (Eds.): Benn Yearbook. Volume 1, Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2003, ISBN 3-608-93611-4 ; Volume 2: Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-608-93612-2 .
  • Matias Martinez (Ed.): Gottfried Benn - interplay between biography and work. with essays by Regine Anacker, Michael Ansel, Moritz Bassler, Dieter Burdorf, Joachim Dyck, Michael Eskin, Marcus Hahn, Theo Meyer, Thorsten Ries, Hans Dieter Schäfer, Joachim Vahland, Silvio Vietta. Wallstein, Göttingen 2007, ISBN 978-3-89244-964-5 .
  • Christian M. Hanna, Friederike Reents (eds.): Benn-Handbuch. Life, work, effect. JB Metzler-Verlag, Stuttgart 2016, ISBN 978-3-476-02434-3 .

Special examinations

  • Angela Reinthal : Ecce Melencolia - On Gottfried Benn's poem "Where no tear falls". In: Michel Vanoosthuyse (ed.): Crises allemandes de l'identité - German identity crises . vol III, Bibliothèque d'Études Germaniques et Center-Européennes - Université Paul-Valéry de Montpellier, 1998, ISBN 2-84269-187-3 , pp. 109-131.
  • Thomas Homscheid: Between the reading room and the hospital. The medical discourse in Gottfried Benn's early work. Verlag Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2005, ISBN 3-8260-2982-8 .
  • Monika Leipelt-Tsai: Aggression in lyric poetry. Georg Heym - Gottfried Benn - Else Lasker student. Dissertation . Transcript Verlag, Bielefeld 2008, ISBN 978-3-8376-1006-2 , Chapter 3: “Radical technique of autopsy. Gottfried Benn's poem ENGLISCHES CAFÈ. ”, Pp. 131–244.
  • Friederike Reents: A shiver in the brain - Gottfrieds Benn's “Garden of Arles” as a paradigm of modernity. Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen 2009, ISBN 978-3-8353-0323-2 .
  • Gunther Schendel: The Protestant rectory from a church historical point of view. Contributions to the DVD educativ premium "The White Ribbon", Matthias Film gGmbH 2010 (about Benn as a parsonage child).
  • Wolfgang Martynkewicz: Dance on the powder keg: Gottfried Benn, women and power . Construction Verlag, Berlin 2017, ISBN 978-3-351-03666-9 .


Web links

Commons : Gottfried Benn  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Holger Hof, Benn (2007, 36)
  2. From Epilog 1949, IV, p. 345; in Gottfried Benn: Collected Works in Four Volumes, Volume III, 9th Edition. Ed .: Dieter Wellershoff, Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1993.
  3. Wolfgang Emmerich: Gottfried Benn. Rowohlt, 2006, p. 14 ff.
  4. Thilo Koch: Gottfried Benn - A biographical essay. 1957, expanded new edition, Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Munich 1970, p. 15 ff.
  5. Gottfried Benn to Hans Egon Holthusen on May 16, 1954, in Gottfried Benn: Selected letters, with an afterword by Max Rychner. Limes Verlag, Wiesbaden 1957, p. 265.
  6. Wolfgang Emmerich: Gottfried Benn. Rowohlt, 2006, p. 19.
  7. Gottfried Benn: Gedichte, Gesammelte Werke in four volumes, Volume III, 3rd edition. Ed .: Dieter Wellershoff, Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1993, p. 24.
  8. ^ Fritz Joachim Raddatz: Gottfried Benn - Life - Niederer Wahn. A biography . Propylaeen, 2001, p.  88 ff .
  9. ^ Gottfried Benn: Poems, collected works in four volumes. Volume III, 3rd edition. Ed .: Dieter Wellershoff, Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1993, p. 400.
  10. ^ Ingeborg Scholz: Gottfried Benn - poetry and prose. 2nd Edition. Beyer Verlag, Hollfeld 1992, pp. 37, 38.
  11. ^ Volume II from Complete Works, Stuttgarter Ausgabe, Klett-Cotta, 1986, p. 33.
  12. Gunnar Decker: Gottfried Benn - Genie und Barbar - Biographie. Structure Verlag, Berlin 2006, p. 82 ff.
  13. Walter Lennig: Gottfried Benn in self-testimonies and image documents. 1962, p. 15.
  14. ^ Bertelsmann Lexikon, German Authors - From the Middle Ages to the Present, Volume 1, A – Eh, Ed .: Walther Killy, Bertelsmann Lexikon Verlag, Munich 1994, p. 172.
  15. life path ; GW 4, pp. 27, 28.
  16. Wolfgang Emmerich: Gottfried Benn. Rowohlt, 2006, p. 29.
  17. Werner Rübe: Provoked Life - Gottfried Benn. Klett-Cotta, 1993, p. 110.
  18. ^ Ingeborg Scholz: Gottfried Benn - poetry and prose. 2nd Edition. Beyer Verlag, Holfeld 1992, p. 19.
  19. Wolfgang Emmerich: Gottfried Benn. Rowohlt, 2006, pp. 32, 33.
  20. ^ Bertelsmann Lexicon: German Authors - From the Middle Ages to the Present, Volume 1, A – Eh, Ed .: Walther Killy, Bertelsmann Lexikon Verlag, Munich 1994, p. 173. Benn himself mentions his relationship with Else Lasker-Schüler in a letter to FW Oelze; another. Letters to FW Oelze, Volume 2 / II, p. 128: she "was once my friend, 1912 ..."
  21. ^ Catalog of the Benn exhibition of the German Literature Archive in Marbach from 1986, p. 31.
  22. Hans Dieter Schäfer: Gottfried Benn and the officer corps. Warmbronn 2005, p. 8 ff.
  23. ^ Ingeborg Scholz: Gottfried Benn - poetry and prose. 2nd Edition. Beyer Verlag, Holfeld 1992, pp. 40, 53, 54.
  24. Jürgen Peter Wallmann: Gottfried Benn - Genius of the Germans. Verlag Stieglitz, 1965, p. 24.
  25. Hans Egon Holthusen: Gottfried Benn - Life, Work, Contradiction - 1886-1922. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1986, p. 184.
  26. Epilog, IV, p. 7.
  27. IV, 30
  28. Wolfgang Emmerich: Gottfried Benn. Rowohlt, 2006, p. 44 ff.
  29. Uwe Schütte: The poetics of the extreme - excesses of a language of the radical. V&R, 2006, p. 239.
  30. Selected Letters, 1957, p. 220.
  31. Deutschlandfunk - The Feature: Edith Cavell, Dr. Gottfried Benn and others , ( broadcast on January 7, 2014 with the manuscript of the broadcast ).
  32. Nele Poul Soerensen: My father Gottfried Benn. Limes Verlag, 1960, p. 19.
  33. Carmen Böker: The Circe from Kurfürstendamm. In: Berliner Zeitung . July 9, 2008, accessed June 17, 2015 .
  34. ^ Doris Hermanns: Mopsa Sternheim , in: FemBio
  35. Thilo Koch: Gottfried Benn. Volume 61 of Langen-Müller's Small Gift Books, Verlag A. Langen, 1957, p. 39.
  36. Gottfried Benn: Selected letters. With an afterword by Max Rychner. Limes Verlag, Wiesbaden 1957, pp. 15, 19.
  37. Gottfried Benn: The collected writings of Gottfried Benn. Erich Reiss Verlag, Berlin 1922.
  38. ^ Bertelsmann Lexikon: German Authors - From the Middle Ages to the Present. Volume 1, A-Eh. Ed .: Walther Killy. Bertelsmann Lexikon Verlag, Munich 1994, p. 174.
  39. Wolfgang Emmerich: Gottfried Benn. Rowohlt, 2006, p. 64 ff.
  40. a b Joachim Dyck: Gottfried Benn, a thoroughbred Jew? In: Matias Martinez: Gottfried Benn - interplay between biography and work. Wallstein, 2007, p. 113.
  41. ^ Addendum to Volume IV in Gottfried Benn: Gedichte. Collected works in four volumes, Volume III. Ed .: Dieter Wellershoff. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart, 3rd edition, 1993.
  42. ^ Jan-Pieter Barbian: Literary Policy . Edition 1993, p. 30. Also in all other editions, with different page count.
  43. Peter Tepe: Gottfried Benn's commitment to National Socialism using the example of the essays. P. 3 ff.
  44. See Reinhard Alter: Gottfried Benn and Börries Münchhausen. An exchange of letters from 1933/34 . In: Yearbook of the German Schiller Society . 25, 1981, pp. 139ff.
  45. cf. already Der Spiegel 14/1950
  46. Gottfried Benn: double life. Two self-portraits. 2nd Edition. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2005, p. 133 f.
  47. Source: Ulrike Voswinckel, Frank Berninger: Exile on the Mediterranean. German writers in the south of France 1933–1941. Book accompanying the exhibition in the Monacensia , literature archive and library, May 12th - November 18th. Allitera, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-86520-113-X .
  48. Thomas Gann: Brain and Breeding - Gottfried Benn's Psychiatric Poetics 1910-1933 / 34. Transcript Lettre, 2007, p. 155 ff.
  49. Benn wrote these "Stadthallen-elegies" on the back of menus in the Stadthalle Hannover . The originals are kept in the German Literature Archive in Marbach. The poem asters on the back of a menu is exhibited in the Marbach Museum of Modern Literature. Other poems from this cycle are: The Day That Ends Summer and The White Sails .
  50. Peter J. Brenner: Gottfried Benn's monologues - a dialogue with history. In: Klaus H. Kiefer (Hrsg.): The poetry claims its right. Frankfurt am Main 2001, p. 254 ff.
  51. About Gottfried Benn's relationship to contemporary history, in: Reinhold Grimm, Wolf-Dieter Marsch: The art in the shadow of God. Göttingen 1962, p. 13.
  52. ^ First paragraph from the poem Monolog . In: Gottfried Benn: Poems. Collected works in four volumes, Volume III, 3rd edition. Ed .: Dieter Wellershoff. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1993, p. 226.
  53. Joachim Dyck: Gottfried Benn. Introduction to life and work . Gruyter, Berlin / New York, p. 94.
  55. Gottfried Benn: Three old men, quoted from: Simon Karcher: Objectivity and elegiac tone - the late poetry of Gottfried Benn and Bertolt Brecht - a comparison. Königshausen & Neumann, 2006, p. 77.
  56. Letters to FW Oelze, Volume 2 / II, p. 170. Benn judges there: “Something like that is only possible in Germany. This hatred, which I always generated all my life, is a mystery to me. But don't do anything. I only like macabre, disreputable fame, not pure, idealistic. "
  57. G. Benn, Letters to FW Oelze, Volume 2 / II, p. 69.
  58. Uwe Lehmann-Brauns: Benn's last love. With original letters from Gottfried Benn. Berlin 2019, ISBN 978-3-95732-381-1 , p. 57 u. 10.
  59. Ursula Ziebarth: Afterwards. Gottfried Benn's letters to Ursula Ziebarth, Göttingen 2001
  60. Gottfried Benn: Only two things . In: Complete Works. Volume I. Poems 1st Stuttgart edition, edited by Gerhard Schuster. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 978-3-608-95313-8 , p. 320.
  61. ^ Hans-Jürgen Mende: Lexicon of Berlin burial places . Pharus-Plan, Berlin 2018, ISBN 978-3-86514-206-1 , p. 577.
  62. Max Rychner: Merkur III, 8, 1949, p. 873; quoted from Dieter Wellershoff, editor's epilogue, in Gottfried Benn: Collected works in four volumes. Volume III, Ed .: Dieter Wellershoff, Klett-Cotta, 9th edition. Stuttgart 1993, p. 614 and 615.
  63. SNM / German Literature Archive Marbach: Nachlass Benn, Gottfried ( Memento of the original from December 4, 2003 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  64. ^ Part of the estate of Gottfried Benn
  65. ^ Report on the new exhibition.
  66. To the director's homepage
  67. Björn Hayer: Gottfried Benn and the women - "Sex was an elixir of life for him". Review, Spiegel online , May 21, 2017.