Johanna Theodolinde Erika Petri was born on 7 December 1906 in Rostock. She grew up as the second of six children in Belgard on the banks of the Persante River (Eastern Pomerania, today Poland). Her father was director of the central power station. The family was wealthy and valued education. In order to be able to do the final secondary school diploma, young Erika, together was the first girl to attend the public grammar school for boys. Afterwards she studied art history, archaeology and medieval history in Lausanne, Munich and London. She completed her studies in 1931 and finished her doctorate with a thesis about the rococo sculptor Johann Michael Feichtmayr.
When studying in Munich, Erika Petra met the mechanical engineering student Günter Fuchs. They were married in 1932 and moved to Schwarzenbach an der Saale. Günter Fuchs became the managing director and subsequent owner of the company SUMMA Feuerungen, which produced modern heating systems for tiled stoves. Their sons Thomas and Nikolas were born in 1934 and 1938. Günter Fuchs was an engineer who registered numerous improvements of boilers for patent and designed their domestic furniture. In 1941, he was conscripted into the German army. For some time he worked in the German Army Ordnance and later became the technical director of an underground pilot plant for the production of the so-called V2 rocket.
Erika Fuchs was not able to work as an art historian in the small town of Schwarzenbach. After the war, she dedicated herself to the establishment of the secondary school in Schwarzenbach for a few years. As she appreciated English literature, she started to translate for her own pleasure. Ultimately, she took on orders as a free-lance translator, among others for Reader’s Digest. One day she met the manager of the newly founded Ehapa publisher in the Stuttgart publishing house. He offered her new material that so far was completely unknown in Germany: magazines with coloured drawings of mice and ducks that spoke to each other by means of speech bubbles. Erika Fuchs was appalled and refused – in her opinion, something like this would never work in Germany. Despite this, she took a few magazines home, showed them to her husband and, finally, was won over.
The first German Mickey Mouse magazine was published in 1951. The imprint indicated: Chief editor Dr. Erika Fuchs. She translated the stories from Duckburg until 1988. After Günter Fuchs’ death in 1984, Erika Fuchs moved to Munich where her children and grandchildren lived. She passed away in 2005 at the age of 98 years and is buried in Schwarzenbach an der Saale alongside her husband.