Max escapes the grasp of the nazi party and takes shelter in the basement of and old friend. After this he makes his way to Hans to ask him, "...do you still play the accordion?". This is code for 'help me'.
The Nazi's broke into hundreds of jewish homes, took citizens away and destroyed what was left. This night drove Max away from his family, and was named "krystalnagct.
Max had the motivation to keep living for not only himself. He learns to live for the new family that took him in. He does this as if dying would be betrayal.