Genrikh Grigoryevich YAGODA (1891 - 1938)

The episode in which characters spray the walls of an office with poison is based on actual accusations that came to light in March 1938 in the trial of the so-called "right-Trotskyite block," including, among others, Bukharin, Rykov, Krestinskii, and Yagoda.

G. G. Yagoda

Yagoda had been removed as head of the NKVD in 1936 and supposedly fearing implication in the murder of Kirov (in 1934) he had his secretary Bulanov spray the walls of his successor Yezhov's office with poison. Yagoda and Bulanov were sentenced to be shot. Bulgakov understood all the farce of the fabricated charges, and Yagoda and Bulanov join the ranks of the imaginary poisoners at the ball. Of course Yagoda's name could not be mentioned in print after his removal (neither could Yezhov's a few months later). See the History of the KGB, the N. I. Yezhov Home Page, and the Home Office of Genrikh Grigoryevich YAGODA.