6 November 2010

"Beast of Bolzano" is Dead

Michael Seifert, pictured here with his Canadian lawyer Doug Christie, died today in an Italian hospital at the age of 86. Seifert had been extradited to Italy in 2008 where he had been convicted him in absentia for war crimes. Seifert was an especially violent concentration camp guard who's brutality earned him the moniker, the "Beast of Bolzano." His crimes included starving a 15 year old girl to death, torturing a woman before murdering her and her child, and gouging out the eyes of a prisoner.

He was convicted by an Italian court of these and other crimes in 2000. He fought extradition for a number of years, but he eventually lost and was returned to Italy where his crimes had been committed.


Nazi war criminal Michael Seifert dies in Italy

Michael Seifert, a former Nazi SS prison guard known as 'the beast of Bolzano' for his cruelty, has died in an Italian hospital aged 86.

He was serving a life sentence in prison in southern Italy, and died in hospital in Caserta where he was admitted several days ago.

Seifert was convicted in absentia in 2000 by an Italian military tribunal of 11 murders at a prison camp in Bolzano.

He was extradited to Italy from Canada in 2008.

Seifert admitted to having been a guard at the camp but denied being involved in atrocities.

Witnesses accused him of leaving a prisoner to starve to death, raping and killing a pregnant woman and gouging an inmate's eyes out.

Towards the end of World War II, the Bolzano camp in Italy's Alpine South Tyrol region was used to house Jews, resistance fighters and German army deserters who were being transported further north.

Concealed past


Seifert was born in Ukraine and went on to work as a Nazi guard after the German occupation. After the war, he concealed his past and entered Canada in 1951.

In 2002, he was arrested after a request from Italy. His attempts to resist extradition reached a dead end in Canada's Supreme Court when it refused to hear his appeal.

Seifert had been transferred to hospital from the nearby Santa Maria Capua Vetere prison. He had a fractured femur and underwent an emergency operation for a gastric complication days ago, Pasquale La Cerra, the medical director at the Caserta hospital, told AP news agency.


Unlike the prisoners he guarded, Seifert was provided with professional medical attention and relative comforts in prison, though to listen to Doud Christie, Seifert was being tortured daily:


(Interesting. Christie states that poor Mr. Seifert speaks mostly German and a limited amount of English, yet he had lived in Canada from 1951 to 2008 (some 57 years). We imagine that Mr. Christie and the people he often represents would be very critical of an immigrant who never learned one of the two official languages had that immigrant been non-European.)

Of course we've heard this song and dance from Christie when he claimed the same treatment for Zundel. The truth, however, belies these claims:

PARIS — Convicted Nazi-era war criminal Michael Seifert is awaiting further questioning from Italian and German authorities in a cell equipped with “all necessary conveniences” inside a maximum-security Italian military prison, according to an Italian official.

By Canwest News Service February 25, 2008

PARIS — Convicted Nazi-era war criminal Michael Seifert is awaiting further questioning from Italian and German authorities in a cell equipped with “all necessary conveniences” inside a maximum-security Italian military prison, according to an Italian official.

Seifert, the former B.C. mill worker who lived in an East Vancouver single-family home for most of his post-Second World War life in Canada, was sent earlier this month to the prison in Santa Maria Capua Vetere, near Naples, after failing in his long bid to block extradition to Italy.

Seifert is an ethnic German born in the Ukraine who was convicted in absentia in an Italian military court in 2000 for several savage crimes, involving torture and murder, while he was a prison guard in Italy in 1944-45.

“He has a single room, with private toilet and TV, equipped with all necessary conveniences,” military prosecutor Bartolomeo Costantini told Canwest News Service in an e-mail interview.

“He took medical advice, and walks alone outdoors, for one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon.”

No family members are with him, although he “is allowed to make daily phone calls to his wife and son” in Canada.

Costantini said he and a German prosecutor expect to interview Seifert, perhaps as early as next week, about evidence he may have about other war crimes that took place at the prison.

Seifert, 83, admitted he served as a guard in the camp run by Adolf Hitler’s infamous SS (Schutzstaffel, German for “protective squadron”) Nazi paramilitary organization that played a key role in executing Hitler’s brutal conquest of Europe.

But has always denied any involvement in alleged atrocities.

The prosecutor said he expects Seifert to make an application to serve the rest of his life sentence under house arrest, if he can find a friend in Italy who will sponsor him.

Seifert was convicted on nine counts of murder committed at a prison in Bolzano in northern Italy.


We've said in the past that we do not celebrate the deaths of anyone (save Hitler and Hess, and mostly to piss off the boneheads) but we can't pretend to be sorry either. Seifert lived a long life after he had committed his terrible crimes, mostly in freedom. Years that the people he murdered, some of whom were children, were denied.

Suffice it to say that the world isn't exactly a lesser place with
Michael Seifert's death.

3 comments:

Dr.Dawg said...

Suffice it to say that the world isn't exactly a lesser place with Michael Seifert's death.

And it won't be when that bastard Christie has the grace to shuffle off his mortal coil.

Anonymous said...

I'm happy he's dead. He raped and killed a pregnant woman, among other horrors. He wasn't a human. He was an mad animal. He should have been wiped off Earth sooner.

Anonymous said...

Just FYI ... ARC gets honourable mention from Paulie in his latest Stormfromt post "Michael Seifert RIP" ... at the very end of the post ... "We’ll give the last word to the noxious and, of course, anonymous (aren’t those anti-Nazis brave!) Anti-Racist Canada website"

Its quite a read ... had me in stitches.