War memorial

Madurodam is not just a miniature city. It is a war memorial. It is called after George Maduro, an Antillean Jewish hero of the Dutch resistance movement. His parents donated the starter capital for the building of Madurodam in memory of their son, who had died in Dachau concentration camp.

At the time of the German invasion, Maduro was a reserve officer in the Dutch army. He became a prisoner of war. By the time he was released, all Jews were required to wear the Star of David. Maduro refused to do so and joined the resistance movement. In 1943 he was helping Allied pilots escape to the United Kingdom via Spain when he was betrayed and arrested. He managed to escape from prison and rejoin the Dutch resistance. Recaptured by the Gestapo, he was sent to Dachau concentration camp, where he died of typhus in February 1945 at the age of just 28.

On 9 May 1946, George Maduro was posthumously awarded the medal of Knight 4th-class of the Military Order of William, the Netherlands’ highest and oldest military decoration, for his outstanding courage in leading an attack on a German position at Villa Leeuwenbergh in Leidschendam during the occupation of the Netherlands in May 1940. He is the only Dutch person of Antillean descent ever to have been awarded this medal.