The research project explores the enigma surrounding the expressionist Gottfried Benn, his advocacy of National Socialism in the years 1933–34 and consequentially his failed attempt to pursue a career in the Third Reich. There is sufficient reason to assume that an explanation of Benn’s NS-engagement might provide a key: a key to his further life and works, for an understanding of ‘inner emigration’ and for the post-war era. The proposed research wants to solve the enigma of Benn’s National Socialist engagement and disengagement by means of a philological reconstruction of his direct sources, falling into the fields of history of science, the history of the social sciences and intellectual history. So far, these sources have not been considered or have been only insufficiently considered. The proposed project will therefore make an important contribution to literary history, going well beyond the current state of research. Following a systematic analysis of Benn’s reference library, archived in the Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach, the research proposal conceptualizes, for the first time, the author’s pledge of allegiance to Hitler’s ‘total’ state as a result of Benn’s projective procedures of ‘judaization’ and ‘de-judaization’ (David Nirenberg). This terminology refers to an identification of someone or something with a ‘Jewish’ alter ego or resp. the attempt to fend off such an identification. These projective procedures will be investigated in three areas of research, covering the years from 1930 to 1956. The goal is first of all to explain the events of the years 1933–34. At the same time, however, the project will take a larger aim and research Benn’s mediating function for West German post-war literature. For this purpose it is necessary to follow the motif of the ‘constructive spirit.’ Benn develops this changing motif around 1930 in discussions surrounding the discursive mixture of Jewish esotericism and an anti-Semitically grounded approach to the new physics and mathematics (first area of research, Dr. Avraham Rot). Moreover, it is necessary to research two further paradigmatic debates of modern culture: the German discussion of ‘Americanism’ (second area of research, Dr. Frederic Ponten) and the political primitivism of theorists Oskar Goldberg and Julius Evola (third area of research, Prof. Dr. Marcus Hahn). The clarification of the meaning of Benn’s ‘constructive spirit’ according to the varying historical constellations in which it was situated will help to generate a synthesis of all three areas of research. This synthesis in turn will be instrumental for a far-reaching revision of our very idea of Benn’s late work, that is, the work of a paradigmatic protagonist of the German-language classical modernity.