Maigel has several prototypes. The former baron Boris Sergeevich Shteiger worked in the 20s and 30s in Moscow at Narkompros [People's Commissariat for Enlightenment] and simultaneously as an agent of the NKVD. In 1937 he was arrested and shot in connection with the case of Enukidze, a former Central Committee member in charge of theaters. Shteiger is mentioned several times in the diary of Elena Sergeevna Bulgakova. He was often found at US Embassy functions and reported on foreigners connected with the theater. Shteiger was at Bullitt's embassy reception that became the basis for Satan's Grand Ball, and when the Bulgakovs left in the embassy car, Shteiger went with them. According to Elena Sergeevna "we didn't know him, but he was famous in Moscow and always found among foreigners." Another prototype was Baron Egor Ivanovich Maidel' (1817-1881), the cruel director of the Peter and Paul Prison, who was described in Tolstoy's Ressurrection.