To study German is to study a very diverse and exciting subject with a written literature going back to 690 AD. This literature includes great drama, wonderful poetry, and the work of such fascinating writers and thinkers as Luther, Goethe, Nietzsche and Kafka. The German language, whether in its modern guise or in its historic development, is another fascinating object of study which casts much light on our own use of English. There are very few places outside Germany where you can study the full range of German literature, culture and language. Oxford is one of them!
You can only really understand Europe if you know something about German culture and German history.
It’s important to study literature because, on the one hand, it helps us to understand ourselves and our world better and, on the other hand, because the imaginings of writers so often determine how we see the world.