Herman Rosenstein

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Herman Rosenstein

Herman "Gabby" Rosenstein (1915-1996) was the father of Paul Rosenstein (the mayor of Santa Monica and a Democratic Socialists of America member) and Frances Rosenstein and the husband of Millie Rosenstein and a Spanish Civil War Veteran.

Over these many decades he maintained a close bond with his former comrades-in-arms as a member of the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. The memorial service celebrating his life was packed with over two hundred people he had touched in his long and active life. Present were many state and local elected officials, including Santa Monica's Democratic Congressmember and even a right-wing member of the Santa Monica City Council. Both the California State Assembly and Senate adjourned in his memory.[1]


Herman Rosenstein, a native New Yorker with a heavy Queens accent, an electrician and union member of long standing, was a feisty and energetic person who read voraciously. With the exception of serving as the Political Commissar of his company in Spain, Herman never sought a leadership position in the many organizations of which he was a member.[2]

Activist life

According to Steve Tarzynski, Herman Rosenstein "was a very strong advocate of the merger between New American Movement and Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee which formed DSA, He was also one of the" first American leftists I knew who strongly supported the principles of Eurocommunism and the centrality of democracy to a modern socialist movement. He quit the Communist Party after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and joined NAM a few years later..."

"Herman Rosentstein was also highly active in the Democratic Party and local politics, as well as national and international issues over an activist life spanning more than sixty years. He was a founding member and long-lime activist in Santa Monicans for Renters Rights (SMRR) which has virtually dominated city politics for the past fifteen years, turning our fair city into the "People's Republic of Santa Monica," one of the most progressive cities in America. I remember him once sharing with me his concern that SMRR would sweep every seat in a city council election back in the 1980s. He fell this was wrong because right-wing voters also needed to have at least one voice in city government, Herman was indeed a true democrat."[3]

Santa Monica DSA

In the early 1980's Herman Rosenstein was a member of Santa Monica Democratic Socialists of America.[4].

Tribute to Ben Dobbs

On Sunday, June 7, 1981, the Los Angeles Chapter of the New American Movement sponsored a Tribute to Ben Dobbs for "His lifelong commitment to socialism". The event was held at the Miramar-Sheraton Hotel, Santa Monica, California. Sponsors of the event included Herman Rosenstein.[5]

Old NAM communists

Kathie Sheldon ‎New American Movement, July 5, 2009


Herman Rosenstein, Milt Cohen, Ben Margolis, Dorothy Healey, Saul Wellman, Ben Dobbs

Photo by Scott Van Osdol, NAM convention 1981.


  1. Democratic Left, May/June 1996, page 19
  2. Democratic Left, May/June 1996, page 19
  3. Democratic Left, May/June 1996, page 19
  4. Santa Monica DSA membership list, undated Steve Tarzynski papers
  5. Tribute to Ben Dobbs program, June 7, 1981