If Hitler was alive, I would be sent to the gas chamber first, says Jewish-Roma journalist

Gerhard Hadi was harassed by teachers in school and attacked by neo-Nazis in Slovakia. But he nevertheless became a successful journalist in Czechia

Sofija Kordic
Sofija Kordic NewsMavens, Czechia
If Hitler was alive, I would be sent to the gas chamber first, says Jewish-Roma journalist - NewsMavens
Gerhard Hadi, Facebook

Why this story matters:

Thirty-five year-old Gerhard Hadi grew up in the Slovakian city of Košice at a time when the neo-Nazi movement was flourishing, and this had a significant impact on his Roma-Jewish family. They eventually moved to Germany, but returned after a few years. In Slovakia, Hadi was harassed at school by both schoolmates and teachers. 

Hadi's situation improved when the school management allowed him to establish a school radio station. His schoolmates started to behave differently towards him and he decided to become a professional news anchor. When he started applying for jobs he was often rejected, sometimes with implications that a Roma cannot be a news presenter.

Hadi then moved to Czechia and worked his way up the career ladder. First he worked as a manual laborer, but looked for openings in journalism in his spare time.

Today, he works for the Radio and Television of Slovakia (RTVS, the state-owned public television and radio broadcaster) and as a correspondent and editor for the very popular Czech program “Roma Word”, among other media.

Details from the story:

  • Gerhard Hadi is half Roma, half Jewish and gay. 
  • Hadi’s mother comes from an educated Roma family. His grandmother was a conservatory professor, and his grandfather was a high-ranking politician who was dealt with Roma policy under communism. Hadi’s father is a musician and a manual laborer.
  • As a child Gerhard was not only attacked by neo-Nazis but also by Roma children for having Slovak friends.
  • Hadi also worked in Brussels for ERIAC (the European Roma Institute for Art and Culture).

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
Is something happening in your country that Newsmavens should cover?
Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
Jessica Sirotin
Jessica Sirotin EDITOR
Ada Petriczko
Ada Petriczko EDITOR
Gazeta Wyborcza, Agora SA Czerska 8/10 00-732, Warsaw Poland
The e-mail addresses provided above are not intended for recruitment purposes. Messages concerning recruitment will be deleted immediately. Your personal data provided as part of your correspondence with Zuzanna,Lea, Jessica and Ada will be processed for the purpose of resolving the issue you contacted us about. The data provided in your email is controlled by Agora S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw Czerska 8/10 Street (00-732). You can find more information about the processing and protection of your personal data at https://newsmavens.com/transparency-policy