By Anav Silverman
Tazpit News Agency
German tourist, Eleonore Kastner, affectionately known as Oma Ella,
celebrated her 104th birthday in a Dead Sea hotel with forty friends
and family who traveled with her to Israel for the special event.
Since she turned 100 four years ago, Oma Ella had decided that the
time had come to “live a little.” She has been celebrating her
birthday each year in a different corner of the world together with
her family. For her 100th birthday, Kastner celebrated at the Vatican.
During the following years, she marked 101 in Monaco, 102 in Austria
and 103 in Munich.
Kastner, a devout Christian, has visited and prayed at Christian holy
sites in the Holy Land, even traveling on a donkey to reach an
isolated monastery in the Judean desert.
Kastner, who was born in 1910 in Kelheim, Germany, has accomplished
some ground-breaking feats in her older age. She is thought to be the
oldest person to tour the Himalayas and meet with the Queen of Bhutan,
and is the oldest member of the Eurovision Club that travels to every
In addition, the German grandmother is considered to be the oldest
person to have a Facebook page which she has already updated since
arriving in Israel with a video greeting. She also appears in YouTube
videos celebrating with youth at beer festivals in Germany, enjoying
fairground rides and dancing to contemporary music.
And her secret for longevity? “Be healthy and enjoy a sweet schnapps
every day!” is Kastner’s motto.
After she married in 1932, Kastner moved to Amberg, Bavaria where she
raised four children, only one of whom is still alive. Her elder
brother, who was born in 1906, was murdered in the Dachau
concentration camp in 1943 after resisting the Nazi occupation.
Kastner has 6 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren and one
great-great grandchild – many of whom joined her in her celebrations
in Israel. Today, she lives with one of her grandsons, Joe Kastner and
his family, in Berlin.
During her visit to Israel, the Tourism Ministry presented Kastner
with a birthday present: a silver-bound Bible along with a certificate
of appreciation, nominating her as an ambassador of good will for
tourism to Israel.