BRUSSELS, March 2.— (INS)— Abig German bomber today shot down two Belgian army planes in a dramatic air battle over Belgium's neutral territory. The German air force was formally accused by Belgium of a "serious violation of Belgian neutrality and an aggressive act." One of the Belgian fliers was killed; the other pilot parachuted to safety as his plane spun to earth.
The air battle was precipitated when three single-seated Belgian military monoplanes gave chase to and surrounded a German Dornier=17 bomber over the Saint Hubert district in the Belgian province of Luxembourg, not far from the western front. The third Belgian plane was put out of action when German bullets cut Its machine gun controls, but It managed to escape the terrific fire unleashed by the Nazi bomber, and made a normal landing. The Nazi plane disappeared across the German border, some 45 miles distant from the scene of the battle.10 DIE IN CRASHES.
Simultaneously, three Belgian army planes crashed in other Belgian- areas today, killing 10 men and injuring one. These crashes, however. were accidental and bore no relation to the German-Belgian air duel.
Materials, LivesSpent Lavishly
HELSINKI, March 2.—(INS) — Annihilation of the Thirty-fourth Moscow tank brigade, with the killing of at least 2000 Russians, was officially announced tonight, but unofficial reports indicated Finnish troops already have abandoned Viborg to the Red army.The Finnish high command revealed in its communique tonight that the Russian tank force was encircled northeast of Lake Ladoga and Its destruction -completed."
105 TANKS SEIZED.
No less than 105 Soviet tanks, all virtually undamaged, were seized by the Finnish troops that closed in on the surrounded Russians. The big haul of booty also included 12 armored cars, six artillery guns and large quantities of firearms and ammunition.
Most of the isolated and starving Russian tank officers and men froze to death behind their stalled machines, it was indicated.
On the Karelian isthmus, meanwhile, it was reported the Finnish troops withdrew from most of the southeastern seaport of Viborg and that the Red army -was scheduled to march into Finland's haf-ruined second city at noon tomorrow. This report was not officially confirmed.
Tonight's communique, however, admitted further Finnish retreats from points south and east of Viborg, namely In the Sainio and Heinjoki sectors.
FURTHER RETREAT. "
Subsequently, It was unofficially reported Finnish troops withdrew from second-line to third-line fortifications along the entire western half of the Mannerheim line.
An estimated quarter million Soviet troops were concentrated in the unceasing push to seize Viborg, while another quarter million were attacking other sectors of the
OF HITLER, IS FANTASTIC AND YET REAL
Among Americans today there is a disposition to be cynical about the avowed aims of the British and the French to crush the menace of Hitlerism. It may very well be that the Allied statesmen, in their attacks on dictators, are providing the ideals for power politics. Nevertheless, we cannot properly be cynical about the dangers of dictatorship as manifested in Italy and Russia, as well as Germany.George Catlin makes this point clear in his new book, "The Story of the Political Philosophers." He shows clearly the development of the idea of deifying the dictator from the time of the Caesars, through the age of benevolent despotism, down to the modern leadership principle. Hitler, for example, poses not only as the successor to Charlemagne's Roman Empire "of the German people," but as the .head of a new religion— a political religion of the sword, a new Islam, with himself as its Mohammed." Mr. Catlin thinks that Hitler has accomplished this deification more than in the case of either Italy or Russia.
Goering has revealed the dangers of the "fuhrer-princip" in this passage:
We Nazis believe that, in political affairs, Adolf Hitler is infallible, just as the Roman Catholic believes that, in religious matters, the Pope is infallible. .. . His will is my law. .. . The laws of Nature demand that authority should be exercised from above downward and responsibility from below upwards. . . the leader at the top is responsible to the people as a whole and to their future.
The religious aspects of the Nazi secular faith have been stated by Hans Kerrl:
As Christ in his twelve disciples raised a stock fortified unto martyrdom, whose belief shattered the great Roman Empire, even so in Germany we are experiencing the same thing . . . Adolf Hitler is the true Holy Ghost.
This heroic, patriotic faith has had a long history, having derived its force from the idolatrous East and the bureaucrat's feeling that there must be some sentiment to cement the political structure. The Roman Empire, having conquered Egypt, absorbed Egyptian manners and began to salute Caesar as the godlike Pharaohs before him:
Prince of princes, elect of Ptah and Nun the father of the gods, King of Upper and Lower Egypt, lord of the two lands, autocral, son of the sun, lord of diadems, Kaiser, ever living, beloved of Ptah and Isis.
The same deification has come to light in Germany, where, however, there is none to remark with the dry skepticism of Vespasian on accepting his official fate: "Bah! I see I'm becoming a god."
To many Americans this dictatorial theology seems fantastic, and yet it is real. It accounts, in no small measure, for the feeling in Europe that Hitlerism must go before there can be security and orderly life on the Continent.