Herbert Romerstein

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Herbert Romerstein
Born(1931-08-19)August 19, 1931
Brooklyn, New York
DiedMay 7, 2013(2013-05-07) (aged 81)
OccupationGovernment employee, historian, author
Spouse(s)Pat (4 children)

Herbert "Herb" Romerstein (August 19, 1931 – May 7, 2013) was an American government employee, historian, and writer who specialized in Anti-communism and is best known for his book The Venona Secrets, written with Eric Breindel.


Early years[edit]

Romerstein was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1931 to a Jewish family.[1]

As a young man, he joined the Communist Youth League and then joined the Communist Party USA (CPUSA).

During the Korean War, he left the Party[2] and fought in that war.[3]


In 1951, he testified before the Senate Sub-Committee on Internal Security on communist youth organizations and before the Subversive Activities Control Board. He became a research analyst and investigator for American Business Consultants, publishers of the anti-Communist newsletter Counterattack as well as for Bookmailer, which published his first book, Communism and Your Child in 1962.[4]

From 1965 to 1983, Romerstein served as a staff member for the U.S. House of Representatives. During this interval Romerstein worked as investigator for the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC), as minority chief investigator for the House Committee on Internal Security, and on the staff of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.[5]

By the 1980s, he had joined the Reagan Administration full-time as a director of the Office to Counter Soviet Disinformation at the U.S. Information Agency.[2][6][7]

Thereafter, he became director of the Center for Security Research at the Education and Research Institute (ERI).[5] ERI's board members include Ralph Bennett, M. Stanton Evans, Patrick Korten, James C. Roberts, Allan H. Ryskind, and Terrence M. Scanlon.[8]

Later, he worked at the Institute of World Politics as a specialist on espionage, Soviet political warfare, international terrorism, and internal security.[4]

Romerstein's published works concern Anti-Communism almost exclusively from 1962 to his last book in 2012, a span of 40 years.

He conducted research in both U.S. and foreign archives, e.g., Ukrainian archives in 1992 and the archives of the Communist International in Moscow, Russia, in 1993.[5] In 1992, Romerstein and Ray Kerrison reported in the New York Post that Oleg Kalugin had identified I. F. Stone as a Soviet agent, developed in The Venona Secrets, co-authored with Eric Breindel.[9] [10]

Romerstein was essentially a propagandist of anti-Communism – more specifically a counter-propagandist of Communism. He defined counter-propaganda as "carefully prepared answers to false propaganda with the purpose of refuting the disinformation and undermining the propagandist."[11]


Romerstein was married to Pat Romerstein. Their children include Shari, David, Vicky, and Becky (Les) Rhoads. He moved to Maryland in the early 1970s.[12]

Death and legacy[edit]

Romerstein died on May 7, 2013, age 81.[12][13]

He was buried on May 9[3] at the Mount Lebanon Cemetery in Adelphia, Maryland. Surviving him were his wife, four children, a dozen grandchildren, brother Bill, and a niece and a nephew.[12]

In January 2013, the Hoover Institution Library and Archives at Stanford University acquired his collection of papers. According to the archive, after being processed and registered the Romerstein papers will be Hoover's largest collection on communist subversion and the activities of communist front organizations, complementing its previous holdings of papers of the US Subversive Activities Control Board and William T. Poole.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Hines-Rinaldi Funeral Home | Silver Spring, MD". Hinesrinaldi.tributes.com. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Kengor, Paul (May 14, 2013). "Remembering Herb Romerstein". The Jewish Press. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  3. ^ a b Kincaid, Cliff (May 13, 2013). "The Wit and Wisdom of Herbert Romerstein". Accuracy in Media. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c "Herbert Romerstein Collection Comes to the Hoover Archives". Hoover Institution. January 13, 2013. Archived from the original on June 10, 2013. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c "Romerstein Heads Center". Education and Research Institute. Archived from the original on August 27, 2013. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  6. ^ "Herbert Romerstein, Director (Former), U.S Information Agency". C-SPAN. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  7. ^ "Herbert Romerstein". Simon & Schuster. November 13, 2012. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  8. ^ "Home". Education and Research Institute. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  9. ^ "How Many I. F. Stones were there?". New York Post. July 20, 1992.
  10. ^ Romerstein, Herbert; Breindel, Eric (2000). The Venona Secrets: Exposing Soviet Espionage and America's Traitors. Regnery Publishing. ISBN 978-0-89526-275-2.
  11. ^ Romerstein, Herbert (2008). ""Counterpropaganda: We Can't Do Without It," in Strategic Influence: Public Diplomacy, Counterpropaganda and Political Warfare". IWP Press. p. 135.
  12. ^ a b c "Death Notice: Herbert Romerstein". Legacy.com and Washington Post. May 9, 2013. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  13. ^ "Montgomery County Death Notices through May 10". Silver Spring Patch. Retrieved June 16, 2013.


  • Communism and Your Child. New York: The Bookmailer, 1962.
  • Communist International Youth and Student Apparatus: A Monograph Prepared for the Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1963.
  • Official Guide to Confederate Money & Civil War Tokens, Tradesmen & Patriotic. With Grover Criswell. New York: HC Publishers, 1971.
  • Soviet Support for International Terrorism. Washington, DC: Foundation for Democratic Education, 1981.
  • The World Peace Council and Soviet "Active Measures." Washington, DC: Hale Foundation, 1983.
  • Grenada Documents: An Overview and Selection. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1984.
  • Soviet Active Measures and Propaganda: "New Thinking" & Influence Activities in the Gorbachev Era. Toronto: Mackenzie Institute for the Study of Terrorism, Revolution, and Propaganda, 1989.
  • The KGB Against the "Main Enemy": How the Soviet Intelligence Service Operates against the United States. With Stanislav Levchenko. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1989.
  • The KGB Enters the 1990s. Alexandria, VA: Center for Intelligence Studies, n.d. [c. 1990].
  • Soviet Agents of Influence. Alexandria, VA: Center for Intelligence Studies, n.d. [c. 1991].
  • Heroic Victims: Stalin's Foreign Legion in the Spanish Civil War. Washington, DC: Council for the Defense of Freedom, 1994.
  • The Venona Secrets: Exposing Soviet Espionage and America's Traitors. With Eric Breindel. Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2000.
  • Historical Dictionary of American Propaganda. With Martin Manning. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2004.
  • Strategic Influence: Public Diplomacy, Counterpropaganda, and Political Warfare. (Contributor.) Washington, DC: Institute of World Politics Press, 2009.
  • Stalin's Secret Agents: The Subversion of Roosevelt's Government. With M. Stanton Evans. Old Saybrook, CT: Tantor Media, 2012.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]