He told Der Spiegel news magazine on Sunday he did not regret the trip on which he was injured, saying the material he gathered was so educational and strong that it justified the decision to go.
Armbruster and his colleague Martin Durm were travelling by car in the rebel-stronghold of Aleppo when snipers targeted them.
“We were on a roundabout and that was the moment instinct kicked in and told me something wasn’t right,” Armbruster said.
“It was a matter of seconds but it was too late. As we drove out, the first shot came through the window but didn’t hit anyone. The second, which hit me in the hand and stomach, came straightaway. Then I was gone.”
“I wish it had not happened,” Armbruster told Der Spiegel. “I regret too that I didn’t say no when our guide led us in the direction of Aleppo.”
Armbruster’s right forearm is healing slowly. “I need to train it now so that I can use it again,” he said. “I can’t use it yet but I go to therapy every second day. I hope that I can work with my hand again in a few months. But at the moment nobody wants to promise me anything, which is probably a good thing.”
Neither Armbruster nor his colleague Durm were wearing bullet-proof vests. “We were under the impression that it was a safe area. Otherwise we would have worn them of course.
“On the other hand though, that’s never an easy decision when it comes to interviews, especially in busier areas, where many people are just trying to live an ordinary life. If you turn up their wearing a bullet-proof vest that can impose an enormous distance.”
Armbruster also hinted that his initial reaction to the ousting of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak verged on naïve. “We were experiencing a kind of euphoria. At the time we did lack some distance. Today I see things completely differently. I really did think things could only get better. But after only a few days it became clear that it was just a military coup and that the military was linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.”