George Maduro was born in Willemstad, Curaçao, on July 15, 1916.
Madurodam is named after him, as is the Maduroplein where the entrance is located. George Maduro's parents donated the initial capital for the construction of Madurodam as a monument to their son, who died in Dachau on February 8, 1945.
George Maduro came to Leiden to study law.
He was appointed reserve second lieutenant in the Cavalry on November 21, 1939. During the May days of 1940 he was stationed in The Hague as a reserve officer with the Hussars. Under his leadership the German-occupied "Villa Leeuwenbergh", also known as Villa Dorrepaal, near Leidschendam was captured and German paratroopers were taken prisoner of war.
After the capitulation of the Dutch army, George Maduro was imprisoned. He was released, but was arrested again and imprisoned in the Oranjehotel, Scheveningen. After his release, the Germans had made it compulsory to wear the Star of David. George Maduro refused and joined the resistance. In 1943 he wanted to escape with Oncko Wttewaall van Stoetwegen via Spain to the United Kingdom. He was betrayed and imprisoned. He made two escape attempts, but both were unsuccessful. He was later transferred to Dachau concentration camp. Just before the camp was liberated by American troops, he died of typhus at the age of 28 on February 8, 1945. He was buried in the concentration camp cemetery.
On 9 May 1946, George Maduro was posthumously awarded as Knight 4th class of the Military William Order, because he had distinguished himself during the May days with the attack on a German position at Villa Leeuwenbergh in Leidschendam. He is the only Dutchman of Antillean descent to receive this award.
Since 1993, a scale model of Maduro's birthplace in Curaçao, dating from 1895, has been on display in Madurodam. A plaque is attached next to the model of the house, with the text "In him, the Netherlands honors its war heroes from the 1940-1945 battle".
Madurodam has a monument to George Maduro.
For current visiting hours, please contact the museum.
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- Text: TracesOfWar & Samuel de Korte
- Photos: Cqui