Hi everybody, It's me again. I'm going to put the sentence I'd like checked in a bit of context and highlight it in italics. (NB: the father was in a country occupied by the Nazis, he was no demonstrating from safety. This should be clear from the passage, but just in case...)
"This cap was my father's protest against the Nazi occupation. If you demonstrated in the streets in nineteen thirty-nine, you were shot on sight by the SS. But they had no idea that these caps were a symbol of Masaryk and the First Republic. My father and his friends wore them as a secret sign language."
I'm thinking especially about the best material to end the sentence with. An alternative wording would be:
"If you demonstrated in the streets in nineteen thirty-nine, the SS would shoot you on sight."
Some might object to the first version, because of the passive voice. I think that the passive voice can be useful when a subject is acted upon, and this sentence is definitely a case in point. I prefer the first version to the second, even though "shoot you on sight" is a strong ending, because "the SS" is also a strong ending, and because I think that the conditional of "would shoot you" weakens the statement.
What do you say? Any comments beyond responses to my own are also welcome. Thank you so much.