The address of Boris Schteiger

1 Sredniy Kislovskiy Lane
Subway station «Arbatskaya»
It seems that Boris Schteiger served as one of the models for the Baron Meigel, who, ‘acquaints foreigners with places of interest in the capital’, but is in fact, ‘a stool-pigeon and a spy’. Boris Schteiger was acquainted with Elena and Mikhail Bulgakov – they sometimes met at the American embassy and at formal receptions. B. Schteiger was executed on 16th December 1937.
B. Schteiger, as experts on Bulgakov have managed to reveal, was a officer in the White Army who worked in the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs after the revolution, and then in the studios at the Bolshoy Theatre. Schteiger (a Kievan, who knew several languages, a brilliant, worldly conversationalist and a confidant of A. Enukidze) had a rather unsavoury reputation. He was considered an informer, and probably a double-agent in the complicated intrigues of the Kremlin and the American embassy. On 3rd May 1935, E. Bulgakova wrote in her diary: ‘Yesterday Zhukovsky dropped by during the day… He spoke very badly of Schteiger, saying that he hoped never to meet him at our place. He even grimaced whilst saying it.’ Originally, Baron von Maizen figured in the novel, being stabbed by Azazello. However, after Schteiger was executed by firing squad in 1937, Bulgakov changed the character’s surname to von Meigel and the knife was replaced by a gun. Other models for Baron von Meigel are usually named as Baron von Dikgof and Bulgakov’s nemesis, the literary critic M. Maizel.