German fashion model, beauty queen and businesswoman Susanne Erichsen was born Susanne Firle in December 1925. in June of 1945 she married Norwegian Sven Erichsen. the 20-year-old and her newlywed husband were deported from Germany and sent to Soviet labor camps. Susanne was separated from her husband and never saw him again. after two years hard labor, she returned home in 1947.
there she was discovered by a fashion photographer and journalist, which began her career as a model and actress.
during a vacation in Sylt in the early summer of 1950, she took part in the Miss Schleswig-Holstein pagent, and won. on September 2nd 1950, Erichsen was crowned Miss Germany, causing a bit of a scandal as 5 of the 7 judges protested that Susanne had been previously married, which violated pagent regulations. eventually the judges backed down upon learning that the marriage had been officially annulled after only a few months due to Sven's disappearance.
in 1952, Erichson traveled to the United States as an "ambassador of the German fashion". she found great success in the States as sought-after model, earning nearly $100 an hour. she later moved into fashion design and in 1967, founded a modeling school in Berlin, which she led for many years. in early 2002 Susanne died of a stroke at the age of 77.