Emil Shaw

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Emil Shaw

Emil Shaw died in September 2010, age 81. He was the former president of the New Mexico Alliance for Retired Americans and was married to Rose Shaw.

Emil Shaw was a Holocaust survivor who escaped Nazi Austria at age nine with his parents, one of whom was an American citizen. He and Rose Shaw taught in New York City public schools for 30 years before relocating to New Mexico for retirement. Emil Shaw was a leader in Albuquerque's peace and justice community, as well as labor and leftist movements. [1]

Early life

Shaw was born in Vienna, Austria, on March 3, 1929, amidst the rise of the fascism in Europe. Shaw's parents were Jewish and active in the socialist movements in Austria. They were persecuted by the Nazis, who took over the country in 1938. The Shaws were forced to flee to the United States in 1939.

For Emil, this experience forged a lifelong hatred of Nazi ideology, racism and inequality in any form. He strove for a better life for people, becoming a member of the Communist Party USA, and becoming active in peace, civil rights, labor and other social justice movements.

Shaw spent his early years in Michigan and 38 years in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he married Rose Levy, and they raised a family.

Shortly after their marriage, Shaw spent several months in the army during the Korean War, receiving an honorable discharge due to faulty eyesight.

Shaw had many jobs, but worked for a long period of time in a knitting mill and later became a junior high school shop teacher, obtaining a bachelor's degree from City College of New York.

During his 38 years in Brooklyn, Shaw helped to lead tenant strikes and progressive political campaigns. He was active in the labor movement and organized buses to Washington D.C. for civil rights and Vietnam War protests.[2]

New Mexico

When Shaw retired, he and Rose boldly moved out West and settled in New Mexico. Emil -- and Rose - became active in labor, retiree and progressive causes in the state.

His grassroots activities included leading tenant strikes, union work, organizing buses to Washington for civil rights and Vietnam protests, electoral campaigning, and fighting for senior issues. He was a member of SouthWest Organizing Project, American Federation of Teachers New Mexico Retirees, Gray Panthers of Greater Albuquerque, the N.M. AFL-CIO Retirees Council and Alliance for Retired Americans. Emil Shaw was the former president of New Mexico Alliance for Retired Americans.[3]

In 2004, Emil Shaw was chair of the New Mexico Communist Party. Rose Shaw was a member of the Communist Party’s national committee.[4]


Labor, retiree, civil rights and peace leaders from across New Mexico paid tribute to Shaw and his work at a memorial service & celebration of his life at Congregation Nahalat Shalom in Albuquerque. Moving tributes included a YouTube video by the SouthWest Organizing Project.[5]

Communist Party's May Day Salute

In 1995 the Communist Party USA newspaper People's Weekly World, published a "May Day salute" to the "heroes in the class war zone". More than 100 unionists/activists endorsed the call, mostly known affiliates, or members of the Communist Party.

Emil Shaw, Rio Rancho New Mexico, was one of those listed[6].

Endorsed Communist Party Call

On March 30 2002 the Communist Party USA paper People’s Weekly World called for a national holiday in honor of late Farm Workers Union leader Cesar Chavez. The article was followed by a long list of endorsers[7]including Emil Shaw, Almost all endorsers were confirmed members of the Communist Party USA.

Communist Party USA

In September 2006 the Peoples Weekly World[8]listed several members of the New Mexico Communist Party USA.

Caroline Hoescher-Hilton, Che Fox, Dan R., Emil Shaw, Joe Hook, Juan T., Luis Sosa, Mike S., Pablo Trujillo, Rosamund Evans, Rose Shaw, Sandra Han, Virginia C.

Alliance for Retired Americans

Emil Shaw is president[9]of New Mexico Alliance for Retired Americans.


  1. Alliance for Retired Americans Blog, Remembering Emil Shaw, 09/16/2010
  2. [http://www.peoplesworld.org/emil-shaw-lifelong-fighter-for-justice/ PW, Emil Shaw, lifelong fighter for by: SPECIAL TO THE WORLD, september 28 2010]
  3. [http://www.peoplesworld.org/emil-shaw-lifelong-fighter-for-justice/ PW, Emil Shaw, lifelong fighter for by: SPECIAL TO THE WORLD, september 28 2010]
  4. [ http://www.peoplesworld.org/somewhere-over-the-rainbow-talking-socialism-invitation-to-a-discussion/ PW Somewhere over the rainbow: Talking socialism invitation to a discussion by: EMIL AND ROSE SHAW august 23 2004]
  5. [http://www.peoplesworld.org/emil-shaw-lifelong-fighter-for-justice/ PW, Emil Shaw, lifelong fighter for by: SPECIAL TO THE WORLD, september 28 2010]
  6. People's Weekly World May 6 1995 p 2
  7. http://www.pww.org/index.php/article/articleview/882/
  8. We salute the labor movement!, People's World, September 1, 2006
  9. ttp://www.retiredamericans.org/ht/d/sp/i/340/pid/340