ROME – Michael Seifert, a former Nazi SS prison guard known as “the beast of Bolzano” for his cruelty, died Saturday in an Italian hospital at age 86, officials said.The Ukrainian-born Seifert was serving a life sentence at the Santa Maria Capua Vetere prison in southern Italy. Seifert, tried in absentia by a military tribunal in Verona, was convicted in 2000 of nine counts of murder committed while he was an SS guard at a prison transit camp in Bolzano, in Italy’s Alpine South Tyrol area. At his trial, witnesses testified that Seifert starved a 15-year-old prisoner to death, gouged out another person’s eyes and tortured a woman before killing her and her daughter. A witness said he laughed while torturing inmates. The camp served as a transit point for Jews, Italian resistance fighters, Italians drafted for factory work and German army deserters who were being shipped north.