The Eurovision family has lost one its biggest supporters. Late on Tuesday evening Oma Ella, the world’s oldest Eurovision fan, passed away. She was 105. Her family made the announcement on Facebook, and have opened an online condolence book here.
Oma Ella — real name Ella Kastner — was a Eurovision fan from the very beginning. She listened to the early contests on the radio until she had saved enough money to purchase a television. The small screen solidified her passion. But it wasn’t until 2011 that she attended the contest for the first time. She sat in her wheelchair pushed by her grandson. She regularly updated her various social media networks, proving that you’re never too old to love Eurovision or life.
She had a passion for euro-pop, but she loved traveling just as much, visiting San Marino, Azerbaijan and countless countries in between. Later in her life life she was uncapable of traveling long distances, but she she still felt the warmth of Asia and the Americas through numerous cultural festivals in Germany. She was a huge supporter of the Bhutanese diaspora, attended Vietnamese cultural festivals and even met the Dalai Lama.
Oma Ella Photos
Oma Ella and Eurovision
Oma Ella began listening to Eurovision when it began, in 1956. She recalled having to pay attention to it on the radio, as the contest hadn’t even been televised that year. She attended every contest as a VIP since 2011, having met numerous stars such as Valentina Monetta, Sanna Nielsen, Conchita Wurst, and Lys Assia.
Oma Ella and Azerbaijan
In her final years Oma Ella had a strong connection to the Azeri artists and entries in the contest. At the contest in 2011, she met with Eldar, her personal favorite, and forged a strong connection. She admired Eldar and loved how he was fluent in her native German. When Azerbaijan claimed victory that year, Oma Ella was overjoyed and couldn’t wait to attend the next year as a friend of Eldar’s.
Azerbaijan also visited her a few years later, at her 105th birthday extravaganza just a few weeks ago. Eldar and 2014 entrant Dilara Kazimova personally made the journey to perform for her at the largest birthday party in Germany, a personal gala in her honor.
Oma Ella with Dilara and Eldar
Oma, we wish you a restful journey to heaven. Our thoughts are with Oma’s family during this most unfortunate time.