In memoriam: David Krieger – educator and advocate for nuclear disarmament

(Reposted from: Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, December 8, 2023)

David Malcom Krieger, man of peace, passed December 7, 2023 and left the world with one less champion.

David was born March 27, 1942 to Herbert and Sybil Krieger in Los Angeles. The family settled in The San Fernando Valley where his father was the first pediatrician in the Valley.

David attended North Hollywood High before heading to Occidental College where he graduated with a degree in Psychology. He was getting his PhD in Political Science from the University of Hawaii when he met and married Carolee, his wife of 57 years. He did get the PhD, too.

David traveled to Japan to study as part of his PhD work and was so moved by what he experienced and learned in Hiroshima and Nagasaki that he dedicated the rest of his life to abolishing nuclear weapons and achieving peace. He was drafted into the army during the Vietnam war almost simultaneously. However, his clarity of mind and morals would not allow for participating in war and killing. He was, as far as we know, the first Officer in the Vietnam war to sue for Conscientious Objector status.

David traveled to Japan to study as part of his PhD work and was so moved by what he experienced and learned in Hiroshima and Nagasaki that he dedicated the rest of his life to abolishing nuclear weapons and achieving peace.

In 1972, David came to Santa Barbara to work as an assistant to Elisabeth Mann Borgese at the Center for The Study of Democratic Institutions. Here he collaborated with some of the greatest minds of the time on the subject of Democracy. He and Carolee stayed in Santa Barbara, raising their 3 children among the blood orange trees and peacocks on the property they worked tirelessly to convert from rocks and weeds to the artists’ and gardeners’ paradise that it is now.

In 1982, David, Frank Kelly, Wally Drew, and two others founded the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. This was to be David’s proudest accomplishment. David Krieger led the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation until his retirement in 2019. His work, educating, advocating, writing extensively, and speaking all over the world about the dangers of the Nuclear age and the insanity of the nuclear arms race helped advance the cause of peace with justice, particularly among young people, however, also with nearly everyone he personally encountered. David’s charisma, honesty, and depth of knowledge on the subject was hard to disagree with. David Krieger was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 10 separate years.

His work, educating, advocating, writing extensively, and speaking all over the world about the dangers of the Nuclear age and the insanity of the nuclear arms race helped advance the cause of peace with justice, particularly among young people.

David developed a passion for karate when he was in Japan in his early 20s. As with everything he was passionate about, he dedicated himself to being among the best at it, earning his black belt in the Shito-Ryu form, and founding and running his own Dojo, Pacific Karate-Do Institute. He taught many Santa Barbarians Karate in the 1970s and 1980s, and counts some of those former students among his closest friends still.

David loved to play tennis and for years, his free afternoons and weekend mornings were spent playing with some of his other closest friends.

David was also a prolific poet. He found poetry to be an excellent way to express his impression of world events and daily joys.

David Krieger was a man of thought, of conviction, and of honor. He wanted to make the world safer, more peaceful, and ultimately a kinder and more just place for everyone and everything. He never stopped believing it was possible. In his honor, we admonish you to carry this on.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to:

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
1622 Anacapa Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
www.wagingpeace.org/donate

David is survived by his wife, Carolee; his three children, Jeffery (Claire), Jonathon (Kristen), and Mara Sweeney (Dan); his 8 grandchildren, Ryan (Clara), Eric, Zachary, Andrew, Nathaniel Sweeney, Alyse, Addison Sweeney, and Alice Sweeney; his great grandson, Louis (son of Ryan and Clara); his younger brother, Gary; and many nieces and nephews.

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