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An Introduction

War is not an exclusively political or military phenomenon, though these have been its aspects traditionally approached by historical research. It is distinctive of the great wars of the 20th century that they influenced all spheres of the life of society. As a result, the focus of historians´ interest has shifted from military-diplomatic and political-economic background to a broader social and cultural field in the last decades. The everyday life of "ordinary people" in and after the war, including the impacts of the war on a key institution of social life – the family – represents a specific challenge for current historiography. Authors have attempted to capture changes in strategies for the survival of individuals, families and communities in an extraordinary war and post-war situation. The published papers represent proceedings from the international conference "Family at War: Strategies of Survival and their Limits in War and Post-War Conditions" which took place at the end of 2008.