Niskayuna couple concerned about Holocaust Memorial

March 26, 2018 06:44 PM

NISKAYUNA - After 35 years, Sheila DiSarro still relishes the picturesque view from her front window just as much as her husband Bob has grown accustom to the tranquility of gazing at Route 7 traffic from their front porch.

Soon, with a proposal to build a Holocaust Memorial and Educational Center directly across from their home, the DiSarro's are fearing a change of scenery and possible end to their shangri-la.

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"We're trying to figure out what this will do for the town of Niskayuna," Bob DiSarra says, "What is the benefit for our town? There's no tax base there. It's more traffic."

Dr. Michael Lozman, an area orthodontist, sees an educational landmark at the site. He wants to build a Holocaust Memorial complete with a railroad box car, barbed-wire fence, and 20-foot high wall, to simulate the atmosphere of desperation and loneliness inside a Nazi concentration camp so that visitors can better understand what the Jewish people experienced during the Holocaust.

"In their words, a replica of the gates of Auschwitz at the entrance, these things that they're asking us to look at forever," Bob DiSarro points out. "They're supposed to leave with feelings of starkness and hopelessness. That's the impression they want them to feel as they go through it."

"They (visitors to the Memorial) can leave, I can't," Sheila adds, "My home is here. I'm going to see it all the time."

Dr. Lozman says the DiSarro's have legitimate concerns but says he's determined to plant trees or do what ever it takes to prevent their world from changing.

The DiSarro's aren't sold on the offer just yet.

"The simple thing is, you can ask anybody, would you want that in front of your house?" Bob asks rhetorically.

Before anything else happens, the town needs to approve a zoning variance.

The Niskayuna Planning Board is scheduled to discuss the project on Monday night.


Dan Levy

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