Houdini Inspired Immigrants 100 Years Ago
By: Harlan York
October 31, 2010

Houdini’s first important magic trick was called the Metamorphosis. “Bess Houdini would be put into a sack, and she would go into the trunk. A curtain would be closed around it for a moment, bang, the curtains would open, Bess would be standing on top of the trunk. And inside the trunk, the locked trunk, would be Houdini! They would change places, this metamorphosis.” said Brook Kamin Rapaport, curator of “Houdini: Art and Magic,” at the Jewish Museum in New York City. “What interested me about the Metamorphosis trunk is how poignant a symbol it would have been to the immigrant community in this time.” The millions of poor immigrants who arrived with similar trunks, seeking metamorphoses of their own. “In this period there was anti-immigrant sentiment, anti-Semitic sentiment, and people wanted to become Americans and really slough off their historic past and their roots. And by seeing Houdini’s own transformation, it was really a great story of liberation from your past.” (cbs)

About Harlan York

The first-ever attorney in New Jersey to win “Immigration Lawyer of the Year” from Best Lawyers, Harlan York is former immigration chair of the NJ State Bar Association and former co-chair for the NY State Bar Association CFLS Committee on Immigration. He currently serves on the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) National Practice Management Committee.

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Harlan York & Associates practices law in the areas of Immigration, Deportation Defense, Family Immigration, Corporate Immigration, Naturalization throughout Essex County – Hudson County – Morris County – Passaic County – Somerset County – Middlesex County – Bergen County – New Jersey -Immigration Lawyer – NJ Immigration Lawyer – Jersey City-Newark-Paterson Passaic Elizabeth Edison Woodbridge Toms River Hamilton Trenton Camden Clifton Passaic Garfield Wallington Cherry Hill East Orange Passaic Union City Bayonne Irvington Old Bridge Lakewood North Bergen Vineland Union Wayne Parsippany-Troy Hills New Brunswick Plainfield Bloomfield Perth Amboy East Brunswick West New York West Orange Hackensack Atlantic City Kearny Mount Laurel Montclair Essex Hoboken North Brunswick Belleville. In addition to serving clients in New York, Pennsylvania, the greater United States, and Internationally.

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